The savior of Southern mixtapes

Carolina King: Local promoter Timmy Smith calls DJ Chuck T, above, “a leader in the N.C./S.C. hip-hop movement.”

DJ Chuck T, who calls himself the “Carolina King” and “The Lord and Savior of Southern Mixtapes,” cannot be accused of lacking confidence. And while his bravado and outspoken nature may ruffle feathers at times, his commitment to his craft as a DJ has led him to be one of the top (some would say the top) hip-hop DJs in the South.

“DJ Chuck T’s mixtapes are known to have the hottest new songs,” says local promoter Timmy Smith of the blog, Social Life Times. “Chuck T finds the best music from up-and-coming indie acts from the South.” Chuck T’s mixtapes (released as CDs or downloads), which he calls Down South Slangin,’ focus on Southern rap artists or “down South rap.”

According to Smith, most rap music gets popular through DJs in the clubs or by being featured on mixtapes. This puts DJs such as Chuck T in a powerful position. Smith calls him “a leader in the N.C./S.C. hip-hop movement.”

Smith is bringing Chuck T to the Emerald Lounge as a part of a series of Social Life Times events. The last two Social Life Times shows, with DJ Kool and DJ Skillz, packed the club (and the dance floor) to capacity. The chance to hear popular DJs from the region has attracted enthusiastic crowds ready to dress up and get down.

Though he tours all over the region, this will be Chuck T’s first time in our fair mountain city. When asked what he knew about Asheville, Chuck T says he hears there isn’t much of a hip-hop scene here, with no nightclubs or radio stations dedicated to the genre.

Still, “I’m looking forward to performing in Asheville,” Chuck T says. “It’s always a learning experience when I go to a town for the first time. I’ve played all of the big cities and know what to expect in those places, but when I go to smaller towns I find that’s when I really get to test my skills as a DJ and my ability to read a the crowd.” In addition to spinning a mix of underground and more commercial Southern hip-hop during his set, Chuck T will (of course) have his mix tapes available for sale at the show.

Though currently based in Charlotte, Chuck T grew up in Charleston, S.C., and got his start rapping under the name Priest. Though he was finding success as a rapper, Chuck T was frustrated by a lack of support from Charleston radio stations and DJs. Motivated by this frustration, Chuck T changed his focus from being a performer to being a DJ. After a short stint as an on-air radio DJ, he began putting all of his energy into creating and selling mixtapes featuring artists he believed in. He started out burning CDs on his mom’s computer and writing the labels by hand, and has gone on to build an entertainment empire he claims grossed over $2 million last year.

Over the course of his career, Chuck T has been nominated for more than 60 awards, and has won quite a few, including “Best New Mixtape DJ” at the 10th Annual Justo’s Mixtape Awards as well as nine Southern Entertainment Awards. He’s been featured on MTV’s Mixtape Mondays and in Hip Hop Weekly’s “Mixtape Kings” section multiple times.

Chuck T is currently the subject of a documentary being made by Quad Dub Films, Building Blocks of an Empire: The Chuck T Story.

— Ami Worthen can be reached at

who: DJ Chuck T (with DJ Twan)
where: Emerald Lounge
when: Thursday, June 16 (9 p.m. $10. and


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.