Meet the artist: Wesley Johnson
Check out his website: https://wesdaruler.bandcamp.com/
Tell us what you do: I’m a self branded beatsmith that goes by the name “WesdaRuler”. I mix 90s era boom bap/sampling with 90s ear video sounds. I also do traditional mpc style boom bap beats. No one really raps or seeks out this kind of production anymore so I recently started doing live shows where I recreate/remix my own beats live in a non-stop 20-45 min set.
Tell us about your history: Ex military brat. I was born in Warner Robins, GA. My mom grew up there. My dad grew up here in Athens and met her when he joined the Airforce. We have lived mainly in the south (SC/GA/FLA), but spent some years on in northern Cali. I came up in SC as the neighborhood “beat box” and was just called “big wes”. When I moved to Cali and got exposed to a different kind of music scene I became the street dj and was given the name “Wesdnile da Virus” (lol). From there I started making beats. I’ve always been a fan of 90s hip hop usually referred to as the “golden era”. I’ve also always been a huge chipmusic fan (8bit video game sounds) which ironically is considered the golden era of gaming. Listening to great producers like Pete Rock, Large Professor, and DJ Premier led me to Jay Dilla of Detroit. I became a huge fan of his productions and have adapted that style as my own. I’m also a big fan of Mr. Dibia$e/ Professa (darkerthanwax)/Phillipe Edision/Mndsgn. I’m also into photography and sometimes attempt to express the picture in a beat.
Tell us about the importance of your work: It’s important to me simply because I really love doing it. I could never clearly explain in words how I might feel one day, but I am able to take those feelings and vibes and turn them to a beat. It’s a way to express myself. I would love to help build the beat scene here in Athens. I’ve already done a few shows, and people seem to be into it. Any way to contribute to the overall scene and feel of Athens.
Tell us why you live in Athens: It’s a great town. A lot of my family is here and after growing up in the military it’s nice to finally be around. I also have a wife and one-year-old son, and would like to give him a stable environment. I have a good career at UGA. I love football! I love the food here, the music here and MOST of the people here (lol). Sometimes this lil’ town takes my breath away when I take a minute to just stop and look.
Describe your favorite things about this city: I like to old town feel of it. It’s historical, but not TOO historical if that makes sense.