Why Mainstream DJs are Killing Hip-Hop DJs
I was out over the weekend. Regular party type shit. I rarely go out on weekends. Too tired. A birthday party for a particular Shade45 on-air radio personality drew me out.
Whatever the fuck was going on downstairs in that “urban” part of that club was terrible. So I went where no hip-hopper has gone before. Upstairs. To party with the mainstream white folks. God damn that DJ was killing it so hard. He was blending Rakim with Justin Timberlake. Soulja Boy with Britney. Timbaland shit with some obscure house music. And so on and so forth.
Just traveling between the two levels of a nightclub on a Saturday night can show you the difference between DJs, where some take shit seriously, and others not so much. It’s not that the downstairs DJ didn’t know what he was doing, it’s just that he was playing hip-hop music from the years circa 2003-2005. And that’s cool, cause those years were great, but how many times can you be in a club and hear Usher’s “Yeah” and Jay-Z’s “Give It To Me?” It seemed to me like the DJ (and I didn’t get his name, because it was one of those “off” nights for me) knew he had an older crowd and was reluctant to play some Soulja Boy or Timbaland shit. He had such a generic playlist. Like what, no hip-hop music came out after ’05? People felt it too. Everybody was just standing around, bullshitting.
Meanwhile, upstairs it’s like fucking girls gone wild. And not because the DJ was only playing current shit. But because he was blending new songs with old songs, house with hip-hop, hip-hop with soul, basically had a nice complete set. You could tell he spent time working on it. His Saturday afternoon might have been spent practicing. He was what I expect a DJ to be. I couldn’t classify him, he played everything. And he was able to pull off the Rakim shit in a crowd of white folks who don’t even know who Rakim is because he was doing it in a manner that wasn’t intrusive. Play a couple bars, maybe a whole verse, on to the next song, and he just keeps hitting them. To me though, and this is coming from someone who’s definitely done their fair share of partying over the years, one of the main reasons why I don’t go out so much anymore to “urban” parties is because there’s this total lack of creativity coming from DJs. It’s just the same shit you’re hearing on the radio playing in a club. No blends. No cuts. No remixes. A shout out to some random drug dealer moonlighting as a record label CEO in the building (btw, Shout to Irv Gotti, who was in the building). But nothing that will keep you guessing. It’s like, once you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times.
I feel like the Itunes playlist DJ shit that infected mixtapes has since made its way to the urban clubs. It’s been this way for a while. But is it that bad, that it’s getting to the point where you gotta hang with frat boys and sorority chicks, in clubs with DJs who get wayyyyyy less press and attention than the current crop of hip-hop flunkies (you know what DJs I’m talking about) just to wanna shake a tail feather?