By Jerry Del Priore
As a kid growing up in Canarsie, Edmund Bini displayed a love for music, which, he said, he acquired from his mother, an avid dancer who attempted to teach him The Hustle.
Bini’s passion for music grew as his school and neighborhood’s diversity exposed him to the hip-hop lifestyle, still in its infancy at the time. He credits those same kids for setting the stage for who he is today.
“I have to say going to P.S. 272 with a multicultured group of children really played a tremendous part in bringing music into my life,” Bini said. “I hung out in the Bayview projects for years and the kids I hung out with were all heavily into the early stages of hip-hop culture. Without those kids, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
As he got older, Bini began to realize his ability to distinguish the different, distinct sounds in music. It compelled him to cash in all of his savings bonds, much to his mother’s dismay, and purchase two turntables and a mixer from Radio Shack. He plugged all the equipment into his mother’s stereo. Soon after, at the age of 15, he began perfecting the art of DJing.
Non-athletic and not much for school, Bini always had music as his saving grace. In time, he took the stage name of DJ Sizzahandz, given that he could scratch records with scissor-like precision, and his name was close to Edward from the 1990’s Tim Burton film, “Edward Scissorhands.”
Bini’s first club DJing gig was at Le Parc, located on the corner of Avenue N and Rockaway Parkway, in the early 90s. It was the actual bar (Bamboo Lounge) that was portrayed in the iconic movie, “Goodfellas.” In fact, Bini worked for the real Sonny, also depicted in the flick.
While he took the good with the bad, which he said would require too much space to tell, he always looks upon his Canarsie days as special to him.
“Canarsie was everything to me,” he recollected. “It was the best and worst upbringing I could ever hope for. (It was) all of the good, bad and ugly that made me the person I am today. There will never be another place like it, man.”
In 1993, he joined forces with another Canarsie DJ icon, Joe Rizzo, also known as DJ Riz. The duo formed the Crooklyn Clan, which produces one of the world’s finest online music boutiques, the Crooklyn Clan Vault.
Together, they are responsible for a number of international chart-topping tracks such as “Be Faithful” and “It Takes Scoop” and a hit remix of Sean Paul’s “Get Busy.”
The pair still produces music today, as they are working on a special dance music project at the moment. They also own CrackforDJs.net, a remixing service designed for use mainly by performance DJs.
As for Bini himself, he owns www.i12inch.com, a record pool designed to enhance the performance of the working DJ, and has a Tech House (a subgenre of house music that mixes elements of techno with house) EP coming out on March 15th.
Currently, Bini co-owns a women’s online clothing boutique and a men’s clothing line called C3.
“I have always been that guy to look for a way to squeeze the nickel until it turns into a dollar,” the West Goshen, Pennsylvania resident explained. “I am also smart enough to know that being a superstar DJ is not a forever job; it’s more of a cash-in type situation, like hitting a slot machine. From day one, I looked for all the points of what I do and thought heavily about how to flip aspects of my job into other jobs, so to speak. Coming up while the internet is taking over the world gave me a pretty defined goal from day one.”
And Bini never forgets where it all began — right here in Canarsie.