Cactus Jack’s DJ x Producer x Personality is moving the needle on music, media, and more heading into 2024.
Operating a turntable while speaking to 70,000 screaming fans, it only takes Chase B two-and-a-half words to turn a sold-out Sofi Stadium into Studio 54.
As “MODERN JAM” melts a Samsung sound system blasting 1.3 million watts of Daft Punk drums and Teezo Touchdown cabaret, Chase operates as offensive coordinator for the Travis Scott show, selling out NFL arenas and moving millions in merch.
Over the last decade, the fly guy behind the booth has seen his star soar as a DJ, producer, and personality, booked by billionaires to throw parties and brands to find their footing.
From Jordan Brand campaign gigs to Chrome Hearts events, the boy born Chase Benjamin has lived up to his name, hunting hundos at a race pace since embarking on his entertainment journey.
Now 33 years old and already a veteran in the game, the Houston hyphenate is bringing it back home by building his empire.
“What I’m on now is trying to condense all of it,” Chase told Boardroom.
Crystalizing his debut album and launching Aux Money, his studio show at Boardroom, learn how the Cactus Jack general became the go-to-guy for Mike Rubin and Mike Jordan alike, set to embark on a new era of excellence.
Houston to Howard
Chase B was born in Houston, coming of age at Hightower High School before coming into his own at Howard University.
The son of two Boston College graduates, academics and sports surrounded Chase as a child, excelling in hoops and football before focusing on the family trade of track and field.
“My brother was super talented at track and went to the University of Pennsylvania,” said Chase. “I really wanted to go to Columbia.”
With the grades to attend an Ivy League school and the footspeed to run mid-distance at Clemson, Chase battled between going all in on academics or keeping his running career alive.
“I wasn’t going to the Olympics,” Chase said. “I kept hearing things about Howard. I loved it as soon as I got there.”
From hosting functions on campus to getting club gigs as an underclassman, the Texas track star was the toast of DC’s party scene before he was old enough to drink legally.
“I was 19 years old hosting clubs,” said Chase. “They’d take my ID, and I’d host. Being in that realm put me onto so many things in entertainment culture.”
Like Puff Daddy decades before him, Chase excelled in Howard’s social scene, making a name for himself so fast around campus that it quickly became clear that being a DJ was his calling.
A calling that didn’t require a degree but did require a change of scenery.
How to Make it in America
Rather than wait for his graduation cap in DC, Chase B headed north to New York.
The three-hour train ride was a career equivalent to the long jump, looking to land all the experience he picked up DJing at Howard into a real residency in the Big Apple.
“Moving to New York really stamped everything for me,” said Chase. “I was damn near homeless trying to figure everything out even though I was doing really cool gigs.”
Standing at the center of culture, the big bet on going from DC to NYC was a worthwhile risk for Chase. Although the cost of living versus price for parties paled compared to getting by on a college campus, the proximity to talent, energy, and branding opportunities was next level.
“The looks would be so great, but I’m DJing parties for $50 to $100,” Chase said. “How do I take this from a hobby to a real career?”
Miles away from the homecoming concerts he threw at Howard and beneath the poverty line where New York rent was concerned, Chase’s passion proved bigger than his paychecks upon arrival.
That same spirit for music and people eventually introduced him to two mentors who would change his life, the first being DJ Clark Kent.
“When I got to New York, he had a management company, and I wanted to be down so bad,” Chase said. “We had meetings, and he’d put me on game. He said, ‘Honestly, you can survive on your own. Let’s keep this strictly a friendship.’ He’s been my big brother through this.”
As alluded to, another big brother became an early advocate for Chase B. His name? None other than Virgil Abloh.
“I was broke as hell in New York,” recalled Chase. “Me and Virgil would do all these warehouse parties in the deepest dungeons of SoHo. You met the coolest people. That’s where I met [A$AP] Yams, Bari, that whole scene was in New York.”
In Abloh, Chase had a mentor 10 years his senior but equally energized. Their excitement for new sounds saw Chase tagging along for Fashion Week parties and eventually playing festivals alongside the late Off-White founder.
“Those shows at Santos Party House and SOBs gave me the notoriety to get to headlining gigs,” said Chase. “My tenure at The Darby and Up&Down transcended my career. It’s where I met all the artists I know now.”
From Swae Lee to Young Thug, Ty Dolla $ign to Quavo, Chase B became buddies with hip-hop‘s next wave of talent at a moment when they were all going up. Despite being from Houston and attending school in DC, he was the guy in NYC when it came to throwing parties at all of the city’s hottest spots.
“It was a prime time in New York nightlife history,” said Chase. “I was at the pulse of all that with 1 OAK. From 2015 to 2019, all those interactions are really what impacted my career the most.”
A career that blossomed in the Big Apple and soon took him everywhere.
Coast to Coast
In the mid-2010s, Chase B was becoming the biggest young DJ in New York City.
All the while, his childhood friend from Houston was still sending him songs on Soundcloud. Jacques Webster, better known as Travis Scott, had grown up with Chase in Missouri City and pursued music on a parallel path.
In that era, Chase was spinning at showcases for bubbling XXL Freshman and at 1 OAK for socialites looking to get lit. At the same time, Travis was becoming both. From producing tracks on Yeezus to rapping alongside Justin Bieber, Scott’s meteoric rise ran concurrently with Chase’s.
For much of the 2010s, Chase B was so booked as a DJ that he had residencies in multiple time zones simultaneously.
“At one point, I had every Thursday at Up&Down in SoHo,” said Chase. “They owned 1 OAK as well, so I’d do 1 OAK in New York every Friday or Saturday and then 1 OAK in LA every week for three or four years. That was my biggest contribution to the DJ culture, those moments.”
From playing TAO in Las Vegas to hosting a party at LIV in Miami, Chase was booked to the brim and tapped in at every market. The coast-to-coast club circuit boosted his name nationwide, setting the stage for taking his talents around the world.
In 2016, Chase traveled with Travis on Rihanna‘s ANTI World Tour. Spinning in NBA arenas in front of thousands of fans, the stage was soon set for Travis and Chase to do the same as the Cactus Jack label ascended.
“We were on tour for like five years straight,” said Chase. Back on the road supporting Utopia, the grind hasn’t stopped since he started spinning.
Looking ahead, Chase is set to embark on a new pace in new lanes.
When Chase B began throwing parties at Howard, he dreamed of someday being Houston’s equivalent to Funkmaster Flex or Big Boy.
Hosting a radio show was the end goal, with the posts pivoting as the demands to DJ and tour the world increased. At 33, he looks back at the last 15 years fondly but ahead at the next 15 smartly.
“When I was 24? It was exciting,” said Chase. “6 a.m. flights every day and drinking until 4 in the morning? In 2017, I was probably on six flights a week. I loved it, and the money was great. But right now? It’s the whole life-after-basketball situation.”
The next few months for Chase B will see the end of the Circus Maximus Tour and the birth of Aux Money, Chase’s new show at Boardroom.
“I always knew I’d get back into radio and hosting,” Chase said. “More personality-driven stuff using my platform to put other people on.”
Shooting episodes in his Houston studio, the likes of CJ Stroud, Bun B, and more have already pulled up to chop it up with Chase, sharing stories on their lives and careers while also grabbing the aux to get deep into the music. It’s a creative pursuit that returns to his roots of hosting.
“This show is my biggest focus right now,” said Chase. “It’s a transitional period because I’ve never had to veer away from DJing. I wanted to push myself to offer services in totally different ways.”
Additionally, it coincides with his ongoing production pivot.
In recent years, Chase has been busy behind the boards, making beats for the likes of Pusha-T, Babyface Ray, Sheck Wes, Don Toliver, Gunna, and more. Working with Mike Caren, an industry vet well-versed in business, DJing, and producing himself, Chase is releasing singles from his upcoming album, Be Very Afraid, while putting the finishing touches on the project.
Working with the same friends he met when spinning at SOB’s in New York and adding features from those he’s met on the way, it’s a testament to the journey that’s shaped his career and his sound.
“I’m really proud of this album because I didn’t follow any trends,” said Chase. “It’s me personified through music, and a lot of my favorite artists in the world are on this album.”
It’s also a showcase of his ability not just to break songs but to make them.
“I want the production to shine through because it’s really different,” Chase said. “It’s a rap album. The beats are strong. The verses are strong. The samples are dope. I want people to take away that I can not just make beats but really curate a project.”
Both Be Very Afraid and Aux Money see Chase stepping out of the lane of what’s expected of him but returning home to where he always saw his career going. In many ways, it’s no different than the bets he took on himself when he left Texas for school and left school for New York.
“Leaving Houston, I met people from the Bay Area, Atlanta, Trinidad, and Jamaica,” said Chase. “It taught me so many different things. If it wasn’t for Howard, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
A place that’s introduced him to a world of sounds and an array of artists.
A place that’s taking all of that stadium status experience and bringing it right back home to the set of Aux Money.
The AI Alliance includes organizations across the tech industry, academia, and more that have teamed up to share AI tech & reduce risk….
To close out a busy Week 14 Sunday slate, our friends at FanDuel have all the odds and props you need for the hyped divisional battle….