By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
"There was a lot of screaming and yelling — especially if a woman came on TV — then people would start howling at the moon. I'm a really passive person, but being in there made me want to bash people's heads in," Kutmah says.
Finally, at the end of last month, he received his passport to return to a homeland he barely remembers. "I'll always consider L.A. my home," Kutmah says of the city he won't be able to see for at least a decade. "Wherever you were raised as a teenager is what you'll always look back on the most fondly."
Back in Los Angeles, his friends and peers mourn his absence, while staying sanguine about his future.
"His mixes, art and the love he's consistently displayed are always on another level. He's on a continued quest to expose the world to new music, and this certainly won't stop him," says Stones Throw–signed funkster Dâm-Funk.
"It's very selfish to think about how much we miss him, but we really do," says Daedelus, a close friend since Sketchbook days. "The citizenship issue required him to lay low for a long time, but he's no longer going to be our city's secret gem."
Currently in Manchester, Kutmah remains unsure of his next move, except that it will involve music, art and a lot of international traveling — an impossibility for the previous two decades. Several DJ sets have already been booked and three art exhibits are planned to showcase the drawings he made in New Mexico.
"I feel like I'm a foreigner in my home country," Kutmah says. "Of course, there are far worse places to be. When I was in the detainment center, I'd talk to the other inmates and they'd tell me how afraid they were to go back to Juarez, Mexico. When my house burned down two years ago, I got superdepressed and didn't want to draw anymore. Being detained and drawing every day rekindled my love for it. It made me realize how much I love music. I'm not going to flip burgers. I'm going to keep doing what I do."
For the entire exclusive interview with DJ Kutmah for L.A. Weekly, check out our music blog West Coast Sound.