It is very likely that you have heard of RJD2 (born Ramble John Krohn) and haven’t even realized it yet. The DJ/producer has been making music since the mid-nineties when he was the background DJ for the Columbus, OH, rap group MHz. His name comes from a friend’s shout-out on a rap track that stuck with him. He later released a solo “mix CD” titled Your Face and Your Kneecaps under the Fondle ‘Em record label. A year later, he signed onto Definitive Jux, the record label operated by renowned DJ El-P, and released two highly acclaimed solo records Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke. During his time on Definitive Jux, he worked with fellow Columbus MC, Blueprint, and released two albums under the collaborative title Soul Position, the second of which was released under the Rhymesayers label. He continued to work with underground rappers producing beats for Cunninlynguists, Cage, MFDoom, Diverse, Aceyalone, and also producing a cover of Radiohead’s “Airbag,” for the album Exit Music. He released his third solo album, The Third Hand, after leaving Rhymesayers for the XL Recordings label, citing an interest in making music that was more “pop-friendly.” In 2009, he left XL Recordings to create his own record label, Electrical Connections, which is expected to release his first fully independent album, The Colossus, sometime next year.
RJD2 has had an extensive and humble career behind the scenes. His music has been regularly used in skateboarding and snowboarding film montages as well as network TV shows and movies such as Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, AMC’s Mad Men, and the short-lived Robbery Homicide Division. He is also credited for providing tracks for the video games "NFL 2K5," "NBA 2K5" and "2K6," and also providing seven tracks for the game "Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure.” One of his most popular songs, “Ghostwriter,” was used in three separate TV commercials for the Washington Lottery, Wells Fargo, and Anadin Extra (UK), not mention its use as the theme song to TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” various uses on the radio show “Design Matters with Debbie Millman,” and a number of citations on several extreme sports movies.
The production value of RJD2’s music is, at the very least, eclectic. His albums regularly flow from straightforward hip-hop beats to smooth, rock-inspired compilations and back again. On the album, The Third Hand, he significantly broke away from his traditional styling of obscure samplings and electronic compilations to physically playing each instrument and singing on nearly every track. He continues to unapologetically explore areas of musical production that many hip-hop labeled artists fear to tread. Nevertheless, he remains humble in his musical achievements and continues to produce music that appeals to fans of any musical genre.
Since We Last Spoke (2004)
The Third Hand (2007)
Live at Webster Hall (2008)
The Colossus (2010)
MHz - Table Scraps (2001)
Soul Position – Unlimited EP (2002)
Soul Position – 8 Million Stories (2003)
Diplo – RJD2 Meets Diplo of Hollertronix (2004)
Aceyalone – Magnificent City (2006)
Soul Position – Things Go Better With RJ and AL (2006)