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"We're Here, We're Brown, Get Down": The Hardcore Punks Behind Brown Town DJs Flaunt Their Hip-hop Credentials

Diamond-studded teeth and anal-sex code name aside, the most exceptional thing about Brown Town's DJ Jav and DJ Efrem is that the guys behind the deck—the deft deejaying duo, the copper-tinted team spinning gangster rap and the occasional Skrewdriver song at Avalon Bar every other Tuesday night—are getting covered in the Weekly for the first time.

Yet for anyone who's spent time in the local hardcore scene or been a fan during the past 10 years, Javier Van Huss and Efrem Schulz are practically household names. Not so much, though, for Brown Town and hip-hop.

"We've both been in lots of Orange County hardcore bands, and I think the fact that we're both brown kind of drew us together, too," the half-Native American Van Huss jokes about his and the half-Mexican Schulz's relationship. "We're not racist against white people or anything. . . . We're just brown. It's like when gay people say, 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it.' It's like, 'We're here, we're brown . . . get down.'"

Brown Town DJs wax eloquent. Photo courtesy of Brown Town.
Brown Town DJs wax eloquent. Photo courtesy of Brown Town.

Van Huss has played bass for everyone from Eighteen Visions to Poison the Well and was the front man for recently splintered OC punk band the Mistake. Schulz has been rockin' the mic with Death By Stereo since 1998.

"I just got back from Japan with Death By Stereo; that was super-dope," Schulz says sheepishly.

So what are two hardcore staples doing playing Nas and Ice-T on vinyl, as opposed to Sick of It All and Youth of Today?

"I think doing metal and hardcore for so many years kind of pushed me into seeking out other kinds of music," replies Van Huss. "I think the spectrum is broadening and that it's becoming more acceptable for kids to try stuff. I would even like to have a band with a live drummer, MCs and DJs, and sample some stuff. Have it be hip-hop that's not made by traditional hip-hop people."

Schulz concurs: "It's dope, and it's just gangster, dude. It's rad to have a good beat and chill. . . . You don't even have to know how to dance—you just bounce."

The guys explain that their initial Avalon sets started with a mix of hip-hop and punk, but then the punk was dropped after about two weeks to focus on rap.

"It's just fun. You've got the 10-speed-messenger-bike guys, the beach girls, hipsters, cholos, hardcore kids, and everyone's just having a blast," says Schulz. "There are $2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and cheap champagne. Everybody can buy a bottle of $6 champagne and carry it around and be a baller on a budget. It's fully ghetto-fab."


BROWN TOWN DJS SPIN AT AVALON BAR, 820 W. 19TH ST., COSTA MESA, (949) 515-4650. EVERY SECOND & FOURTH TUES., 10 P.M. FREE.

 
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