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DJ Lethal

DJ Lethal in 2006
Background information
Birth name Leors Dimant
Born December 18, 1972 (1972-12-18) (age 37)
Riga, Latvian SSR, USSR
Occupations Turntablist, producer
Instruments Turntable, sampler
Years active 1989 – present
Labels Past: Tommy Boy, Atlantic, Interscope, Geffen
Associated acts Everlast, House of Pain, Limp Bizkit, La Coka Nostra
Notable instruments
Turntables

Leor Dimant (Latvian: Leors Dimants; born December 18, 1972 in Riga, Latvian SSR), better known as DJ Lethal, is a turntablist and producer. He is best known as a member of the band Limp Bizkit, and formerly a member of the Irish-American-influenced hip hop group House of Pain.

Currently, DJ Lethal is the main producer of hip hop group La Coka Nostra, which includes his former House of Pain mates Everlast and Danny Boy, among others. The group's debut album A Brand You Can Trust was released on July 14, 2009.

Contents

Biography

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Early years

Leor Dimant was born in Riga, Latvia, when this country was still part of the Soviet Union. His first contact with music was through his father Grisha Dimant (1951–2007),[1] who, along with his friends, played guitar in a rock band.

In 1979, when DiMant was seven, he and his family illegally left the USSR for Italy, where they remained for a year until they obtained a visa. They were then allowed to go to either Toronto, Los Angeles, or New York City. His parents chose New York. There, his father performed in various Russian clubs and restaurants mostly in Brighton Beach.

DiMant and his parents lived in Jersey City for a time. His family later moved to Los Angeles in 1987 when his father got a job at a new Russian restaurant there. His first introduction to hip hop was in Jersey City, when his school held a talent show with several students performing a rap song, and DiMant was amazed. Once he moved to Los Angeles, he quickly became interested in hip hop culture, including break dancing and graffiti. Before learning to DJ, he actually started off as a beatboxer. He later practiced DJing using his friend's turntables and mixer.[2]

Everlast and House of Pain

By the late 80s, DiMant became friends with a female rapper who at that time dated rapper Everlast. When Everlast was about to go on a Europe tour with Ice T and Rhyme Syndicate, he mentioned that he'd like to hear DiMant beatbox, and they met. Everlast was impressed by his beatboxing skills, and he invited DiMant to be his DJ on the upcoming tour. DiMant, who was only 16 at the time, decided to do so and dropped out of school.

After the tour, in 1990, Everlast's first solo album, including a track featuring scratching by DiMant, was released to both critical and commercial failure.

Following that, Everlast and DiMant, now known as DJ Lethal, decided to start a group, and with the addition of Everlast's high school friend Danny Boy, House of Pain was formed. The group's 1992 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and is best known for the DJ Muggs produced hit single "Jump Around" and the DJ Lethal produced "Shamrocks and Shenanigans". A second album was released in 1994.

In 1996, on the eve of the release of the group's third album, produced by Everlast and DJ Lethal, things began to go sour. DJ Lethal claims it started to become a hassle, and simply wasn't fun anymore. The day before the album came out, the group broke up.

Limp Bizkit

On House of Pain's final tour, Limp Bizkit, an up-and-coming band from Jacksonville, Florida was hired as a supporting act. DJ Lethal and the band became friends, and later, Limp Bizkit hired him to do some work on their recordings, eventually asking him if he wanted to join them. DJ Lethal accepted the offer, and the band became one of the most popular nu metal groups during the late 90s and early 2000s, selling over 50 million records worldwide.

DJ Lethal wanted his contributions to the band recordings to be more original than typical DJs in bands at the time. "There are a couple of other rock bands that have DJs and they’re just like, [mimics a chirp scratch] “Hey, what’s going on? Let me spin around a couple of times and show off that I can spin two records.” So I definitely knew I didn’t want to be just another DJ in a rock band. I wanted to be another instrument—a part of the band, like another guitar player."[2] On Limp Bizkit albums, he is credited for doing "sound development".

Features

Besides the work with his groups, DJ Lethal is producing records in his Hollywood based studio, working for artists such as Scott Harris, and is also preparing his long delayed solo album, which is set to feature will.i.am, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Chester Bennington, Kurupt, B-Real, Redman, Tha Alkaholiks, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Pharoahe Monch, Chino XL, Diamond D, Dilated Peoples, Method Man, Streetlife, Talib Kweli, Bun B and more, along with his La Coka Nostra bandmates.

Relationship to Latvia

In a 2009 interview with the Latvian newspaper Diena, Dimant professed to still feeling "Latvian" despite his many years in the USA. This connection stems from the fact that he was born there, and has a grandmother, other relatives, and many friends of the family there. He mentions Laima Vaikule as an important family friend who encouraged him to maintain contacts with the country of his birth.

Having visited Latvia twice since the regaining of independence, Dimant professes positive feelings for the country.

During his early years growing up in Riga, Dimant spoke mainly Russian at home and at school. He says his parents could speak Latvian, but did not want their son to learn it, so that they could have private conversations without him being able to understand. Nevertheless, Dimant can still recall several phrases in Latvian, such as "Nevajag viņam!" ('[You] need not [tell] him!').[3]

Partial discography

For House of Pain records, see the group's main article.
For Limp Bizkit records, see the group's main article.

External links

References

  1. ^ http://www.myspace.com/djlethal
  2. ^ a b DJ Lethal (Jan. 2000)
  3. ^ Tamuļeviča, Džeina; Tamuļevičs, Dainis; Baņģieris, Artis (19 May 2009). "VIDEO: Limp Bizkit mūziķis DJ Lethal joprojām jūtas latvietis" (in Latvian and English). Diena. http://www.diena.lv/lat/multimediji/dienatv/izklaide/video-limp-bizkit-muzikis-dj-lethal-joprojam-jutas-latvietis. Retrieved 20 May 2009.  Note that the interviewer incorrectly interprets that by the phrase "Nevajag viņam!", Dimant means to say "Nestāsti viņam!" ('Don't tell him!').

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