DJ serves community, hip-hop

For the entire summer, Infinite and his friends hung out and went to clubs where they discovered that, because they were the only black kids there, the white club goers would approach them looking to buy cocaine.”We came up here and looked for jobs at first, but there was really nothing out here and we was partying and we was out a lot and people asked us for drugs all the time,” Infinite explained. “We trafficked all around Montreal, New York, and here. It was too easy.”The Vermont cocaine connection may have been an easy one, but it was not without risk. Infinite and his friends were arrested the following fall. He pled guilty to all charges and spent the next two and a half years in a federal prison.”I was the youngest person on the compound when I went down,” Infinite said. “When Iwalked in there and they saw me, how young I was, a lot of those dudes, instead of taking advantage they took me in like family. I did my time learning from them.”It was there that Infinite, whose given name is Percy, decided to change his name.”One of the things I learned from my reading and my studying was that names are important,” he said. “I felt obligated after knowing what I knew to make a statement, to say ‘You know what?This is a slave name. This is not a name that my ancestors had anything to do with.’ I went through the same kind of transformation that Malcolm [X] did, so to speak.”It was then 1994 and Infinite, fresh out of prison, decided to return to Burlington. He took a job as a janitor for UVM and embarked on a degree in psychology and sociology, from which he would learn about the prison industry from a very different perspective. It was also around this time that Infinite became involved with the university’s radio station, WRUV.”At the time ‘RUV was the only station playing hip-hop, I mean, period,” Infinite recalled. “And then there was only, like, two DJs that played it. So it was just, like, a need.”In 2004 Infinite went back to working in the streets – this time as a homeless youth counselor. According to him, it was simply a logical thing to do. “The same way I became a DJ, because there were [none], are some of the same reasons why I feel obligated to be a leader in the community,” he said.Infinite is currently organizing what will be the biggest New Year’s Eve party Burlington has ever seen in its history. “We have somewhere around 30 DJs and five sound systems spread throughout the [Echo Center].