On top of a decade-plus working as a DJ and a radio host, [Philadephia-native] Bonics has been hip-hop superstar Wiz Khalifa’s tour DJ and music director for the past seven years – from South Africa to Saturday Night Live. When it comes to turntable technique, he’s a two-time Red Bull 3Style World DJ Championship finalist. “I’ve always taken DJing as a craft,” he said. “Turntablists like DJ QBert, who is also Filipino, made me really believe that there’s a place for Asian-Americans in hip-hop.”

Another key ingredient of his shows: Bonics shares some genuine feelings. After cueing up Chance the Rapper’s gospel-tinged “Blessings” at the top of a recent show, he continued with positivity: “Remember, if someone hates on you, that’s a reflection of them, not you.” He then laced together three straight from Kendrick Lamar to encapsulate the hip-hop community’s anticipation for his latest album, DAMN. It’s like that friend of yours with an amazing crate of records – obviously some Wiz exclusives – that he’s eager to share.

[GoMN, 4/13/17]