Friday, February 18, 2011


Real recognizes real and there are really a lot of ridiculously wack DJs out there absolutely clogging up the game with no DJ skills. Because I do so many mixtapes I see all the mixtape sites clogged up with a massive catalog of mixtapes that don’t even have a simple mix. This is, and always has been, one of the most laughable things to me that a so-called ‘DJ’ would have the nuts to put a playlist together, sprinkle in a grip of loud ass sound effects and scream all over the music – then call it a mixtape. If a DJ can’t even blend from one song to the next with the beats actually mixing ON BEAT they should have all upload privileges revoked from every single mixtape site. What really bothers me most about this is that Serato will group songs by BPM for the DJ. If the DJ isn’t using Serato and hasn’t practiced enough to just recognize what songs will blend together well, there are free applications that will analyze BPMs as simple as drag-and-dropping the MP3 files into the application. Nothing sounds worse than two songs clanking against each other all off beat. That makes me just want to scream “JUST PUSH THE CROSS FADER OVER TO THE LEFT AND GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY!” I hear this on mixtapes, on the radio, and the worst possible place – in the clubs. My advice to the wack so-called ‘DJs’ that are too lazy to master the craft of simple mixing: rip the tonearms off your turntables and jam ‘em down your throat.

There should be a DMV-type driving test for all wanna-be DJs to prove they are capable of driving two turntables before they are allowed to add the coveted “DJ” to their name. A written test should be part of the process too. If you don’t know who Kool Herc is –application denied. If you don’t know the names DJ Red Alert, Jam Master Jay, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kid Capri, DJ Premier, etc – application denied. I would even force applicants to sit and watch videos of DMC Battles. A whole “So You Wanna Be a DJ” course requiring in-class lab hours learning simple chirp scratches, crab scratches, transforming, beat juggling, etc. Throughout the course there would be 3 written tests covering the birth and growth of the craft and who the main players have been, just so they would have respect for the real DJs that laid the groundwork for all of us today. The wanna-be’s that finished quickly would be treated to sitting and watching Beat Street while the others sweated out the tests. For the final I would assign a 2-page essay on the integrity of the craft. Then finally the driving test. You have to stand in front of the entire class with two turntables, a mixer, Serato, and a flash drive of 20 songs and perform a 30 minute set.

I have complete disdain for wack DJs and it disgusts me that they have somehow qualified for honors that should be reserved for real DJs only. We are right in the middle of the SEA Awards and the JUSTOS nominations so if only for one month I wish people would actually listen to these DJs on the ballots. If no one else will do it, I implore the people responsible for the SEAs and JUSTOS to please protect the integrity of our craft and listen to the works of the DJs being considered for any award. If a DJ isn’t an absolute turntablist that’s okay, but there has to be some kind of minimum standard to even be eligible for any DJ awards.

I believe that a DJ’s hustle and grind should be recognized and applauded, but just being popular on twitter is not enough to qualify for an award. Twitter groupies will swear a DJ is dope if they are sexy or funny as hell, but those same groupies don’t even listen to the DJ’s work. I don’t care if a DJ is a fat slob who’s gut keeps pushing the cross fader on accident or if the DJ has the sexiest avatar you’ve ever seen. In the words of Rakim “I can go on for days and days…” but the bottom line is I don’t give a damn what a DJ looks like, I just want to hear how they sound in the mix. Red Alert hasn’t exactly aged well (yeah I said it) but damn he can still flip wax like a mad scientist! Follow him on twitter and watch him do his live video feeds of him mixing for hours….incredible! Some of the illest DJs in the game are noticeably quiet on twitter (DJ MLG, yeah you sir lol) but push play on any one of his mixtapes he dropped in 2010 and you will immediately recognize he is a real DJ with real DJ skills. Listen to DJ Ykcor take a simple acapella phrase and twist his needles around on it until the words are chirping like an instrument – that’s some real DJ shit! Google DJ Revolution and download one of his incredible breaks mixes and you will get am ultimate lesson in not just crate digging, but some seriously dope blend skills. Visit YouTube and search for “DJ Frantic” and watch how he put it in before his tragic death. I once watched him intentionally drop the needle on the label of a record (for those who have never put your fingers on vinyl – that’s the paper circle in the middle with all the writing on it) and scratch it until I was convinced it was an optical illusion. Tune in for one of DJ Parallax’s radio shows and you’ll hear a real DJ at work.

I could ramble on for pages and pages about DJs I respect and admire. There are a lot of honestly dope DJs that honestly deserve awards and recognition. I know that fans of music can be swayed by personalities and flirting and common interests in sports or fashion. It is what it is and I’m not mad at that. The ones I would hope would judge a DJ based on their abilities as a DJ are the websites that host mixtapes. I hope that the SEAS and the JUSTOS protect the integrity of our craft and take ownership of their responsibility to award DJ honors to those who deserve it based on at least minimum standards. I wish artists could maneuver through the politics of getting their music spins and reserve their ‘cosigns’ for DJs that really get it in. If you’re an artist, by all means give many thanks to any DJ giving your music some spin, but don’t blow smoke up their asses like they’re dope if you know damn well they should snap a record in half and use the jagged edge of wax to slit their wrists. Real recognizes real and I know damn well wack DJs know they are wack (but of course would never admit that publicly). Big Boi said it best ‘You ain’t no DJ!”

Da’ Hitman (DJ, Radio/Mixtapes/Touring)
“Kick a hole in the speaker pull the plug then I jet”

1 comment:

  1. Man, i'm not even a DJ (MC actually) but I soooooooo feel you!! #Preach! Dont know how many times I've had a good nite at the club ruined by a terrible DJ that can't blend the right two songs together and keep the party going. "My advice to the wack so-called ‘DJs’ that are too lazy to master the craft of simple mixing: rip the tonearms off your turntables and jam ‘em down your throat." #Word!!