DJ Dez and DJ Butter collab for groundbreaking album 

DJ Dez and DJ Butter are posted up in front of Bert's Market Place talking Detroit hip-hop. They laugh like they're at a family barbecue and politick barbershop-style as they bring up everybody from Esham to Eminem. The two are riding high on the acclaim from their album, A Piece of the Action.

Butter, who's been spinning records and selling mixtapes since the '90s, felt it was time to bring the project to fruition.

"We actually started this about three years ago," he says. "[We] took a little pause and then got the ball back rolling."

The two DJs decided to make an album that was more than just Detroitish sound and purged Dez's basement for tracks he had been sitting on for years.

"Dez had like a zillion beats," Butter says. "I was like, 'Come on, man, let's work!"

A Piece of the Action wins because it's ambitious, diverse, and well-composed. It's produced in continuous mixtape format, with sick-ass original beats. There aren't any Funkmaster Flex-ish annoying voiceovers, overdone skits, or music we've already heard. It features the likes of Supa Emcee, Elzhi, BO$$, Phat Kat, Street Lord Juan, and Guilty Simpson. Action also includes appearances from national hip-hop veterans Kool G. Rap, Kokane, and Kurupt.

"We pulled cats from different regions and paired them up," Butter says.

"We consider this an album more than a mixtape because we want people to take it more serious," says Dez.

The album, which has a total of 40 guests, came about in large part because Butter and Dez used social media to reach out to everyone.

"At the end of the day we're all the same kind of people," says Dez. "All it takes is to make a connection and that person seeing your vision."

Dez is no stranger to collaborations, having played prominent roles in several Detroit music genres. He's worked with Amp Fiddler, toured with Esham and Davina, was the official DJ for Slum Village, and created the DJ crew 12 Tech Mob. He's also teamed up with Moodymann on several house and tech projects.

His collab with Butter was released under their label Crazy Noise Productions.

"We have more releases coming out," Butter says. "Wesley Valentine's album will be out soon. ... We also plan on putting out some remixes, vinyl, and collector's cassettes."

As the sun dips behind Eastern Market, the duo reverts to their original conversation. Historic names Kaos & Mystro, Gary Chandler, Shotgun, and DJ Lenn Swann are bandied about. They talk unity, the new cats, resentment, and good music.

"We all just gotta come together," Butter says. "They love us outside the city, but sometimes we're too hard on each other."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation