Considered a prominent figure in the development of instrumental hip-hop, DJ Shadow (real name Josh Davis) has proven himself with groundbreaking, genre-defining solo output on such respected labels as Solesides and Mo’ Wax.
Although Shadow’s earlier works, especially ‘Endtroducing…’, are known for their innovation in genres such as hip-hop, ambient, and trip-hop, his latest album, The Outsider, had several tracks dedicated to Hyphy. This decision has been controversial, leaving many fans feeling alienated. DJ Shadow addressed this point in an August, 2006 interview, in which stated, “Repeat Endtroducing over and over again? That was never, ever in the game plan. Fuck that. So I think it’s time for certain fans to decide if they are fans of the album, or the artist.”
DJ Shadow spent his teenage years in Davis, California and was a dj at the community radio station KDVS. During his time as a radio disc jockey, DJ Shadow was significant in developing the experimental instrumental hip-hop style associated with the California-based solesides record label. His early singles for the label, including In/Flux and Lost and Found (S.F.L.), were genre-bending works of art merging elements of funk, rock, hip-hop, ambient, jazz, soul, and used-bin found records. DJ Shadow is often cited as a leading creator of trip-hop, though this is a label he strongly contests.