Things haven't been easy recently for Pittsburgh-born DJ Orlando "Buscrates" Marshall. In February, Buscrates — who now lives in Atlanta — was hit by a car while riding his bike. (He was riding on a bike trail, and collided with the driver where the trail met the road.) He sustained fractured bones in his neck, vertebrae and foot, and was in a neck brace for weeks, missing a few weeks of work.
During his years in Pittsburgh, the DJ and producer worked with many local MCs, including Beedie and Ensilence; he's also a member of electro-funk outfit East Liberty Quarters. "Pittsburgh will always be home," he says. And in fact, "I appreciate Pittsburgh so much more now."
That's because Pittsburghers have been helping Buscrates cover the cost of some big hospital bills — and are holding a fundraiser in his honor on Fri., April 18, at 720 Music.
J. Malls is one of those organizing the "Cash 4 Crates" event. "I've known Buscrates most of the time that I've been DJ'ing," he explains. "I remember meeting him circa '95 in Stedeford's Records on the North Side."
"Buscrates is one of my closest friends for several years now," says Michelle LeMenager, the fundraiser's lead organizer. "I just wanted to be able to do something to assist him." LeMenager also ran an online campaign to raise funds for Buscrates; that project, which ended last Friday, raised more than $5,000. "We're hoping to supplement that with the live fundraiser that is happening on April 18," she explains.
Buscrates will travel to Pittsburgh to attend the event, and numerous local artists will be performing: hosts Gene Stovall and Smilo, Divine Seven, Billy Pilgrim, Mave Sami and many more.
"I asked Crates to give me a list of who some of his favorite local performers were and asked them if they would be willing to donate their time," says LeMenager. "Honestly, everybody we approached, unless they had a scheduling conflict, immediately agreed. I think that is a testament to the kind of person Crates is, and how many people he touches and affects."