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Diggin’ Thru the Crates: Meet Matt Talley

A vintage hip-hop enthusiast with the grind to match perfectly describes Matt Talley. He’s a  DJ, employee of D.C. marketplace Maketto, the creator of “Diggin’ Thru the Crates,” a movie critic for blackfilm.com, the author of children’s book “The Dreams of Scottie Benjamin,” and that’s just a few of his ventures. 

With all of these jobs on his plate, music is Talley’s true calling. As a young child growing up, his mother would play Jay-Z and Tupac in the household while his father had a career in audio production. Matt’s Uncle Tony was a member of a go-go band and taught himself how to play piano. Talley, who lived two houses down from D.C. rap artist and close friend Tabi Bonney also had a connection with well-known District talent DJ Alizay. After graduating from Bowie High School, Talley interned for D.C. rap artist Wale with “The Board of Administration,” an independent label, doing everything from selling Krispy Kreme donuts to social media. 

Life took a turn and Talley decided to sell his childhood home. He moved to London where the only thing he knew how to work in his apartment was the record player. London is where his love of records took off and where he created “Diggin’ Thru the Crates,” an audio/visual hip-hop experience featuring vinyl, cassettes, and more. The events are hosted in different cities around the US.  While DJs are spinning records, attendees can go through crates of LP’s to either buy or request for the DJ to play next. To date, D.C., Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles have hosted  “Diggin’ Thru the Crates.” The idea was created by Talley, who brought in DJ Alizay, who then consulted with his mentor Biz Markie.

When Talley isn’t traveling, he works as an independent DJ, writer, and weekend manager at D.C.’s HR Records at 7th & Kennedy St. NW. The record shop is his safe haven,

“I come in and bury myself in records. I enjoy having good conversations with people about music.” 

He loves to spin Neo Soul Music.

Talley is active with the #DontMuteDC movement and is part of local change maker collective, the D.C. Cultural Sustainability Initiative (DCSI). His favorite go-go band is “New Impressionz,” saying “I love the sound of that bounce beat.” Talley’s favorite DMV artists are Wale, Tabi Bonney and Rico Nasty. He currently lives in Ward 5 near Chuck Brown Park in Northeast.

Talley is a true optimist who pushes the music and culture of his hometown while believing, “Your feet dictate your mouth. As long as I am active, opportunities will come,” said Talley.

Keep up with Matt Talley, Instagram & Twitter: @talleyismajor, Facebook: Matt Talley

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