Rob Swift knows all about evolution and its conceptual cousin, revolution—whether it’s the spontaneous kind that sparks radical change, or the vinyl-based kind that occurs at 33-1/3 revolutions – per – minute (and variations thereof). And for a cat like Swift—who has worked with everyone from Linkin Park to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Mike Patton to Herbie Hancock—truly forward-thinking, revolutionary music just seems to come naturally, and on some occasions, at a cost. DJs must adapt, and in this high-speed information era, that means expanding your scope of vision from beyond your instrument to new expressive vehicles “by any means necessary.” Here’s where we drop the needle on some history: after years of honing his skills on the wheels of steel under the tutelage of his older brother and father, Robert Aguilar aka Rob Swift was tapped, in 1991, by a Harlem-based DJ crew called the X-Men to join their ranks. Within a year he won the coveted DMC East Coast title and became known, worldwide, as a masterful DJ and a force to be reckoned. Even when, to avoid the obvious beef with Marvel Comics, the X-Men were compelled to change their name to the X-ecutioners, Swift (and his compatriots Roc Raida, Mista Sinista and Total Eclipse) still retained a superhero’s afterglow. Their 1997 debut album X-Pressions (Ashpodel) served notice, with dirt-funky tracks like “Word Play” making it clear that Swift the recording artist was on the rise. Five years later, the group’s first major-label debut Built From Scratch (Loud/Columbia) generated the huge hit “It’s Goin’ Down” featuring Linkin Park.