The development of technology brings along a development in the culture effecting each element. The innovation of being able to share music and commonality of mobile devices gives us all the ability to cold rock a party. The problem is everyone is trying to find a side hustle in today’s economy. People are buying software and downloading music thinking they can entertain a crowd. People everywhere have taken it upon themselves to consider themselves a DJ. The foundation of the culture has survived the entrance of the ‘Serato DJ’ demonstrated by the likes of Paris Hilton and other pop culture personalities. You have producers that call themselves a DJ but they don’t own any vinyl. It’s like scratching and mixing don’t even exist. DJing requires actual skill in addition to great hand-eye and ear coordination. You have to know how to please a crowd you’re not just playing music you like or trying to expose your artist roster at a party. If Jam Master Jay was here this may be a different blog. DJs, producers, and beat makers need to snap out of it. Not everybody, of course we have great DJs making great music out there.
Gone are the days when radio DJs mixed on a consistent basis. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where you have at least one good DJ on your station’s roster be thankful. Instead of waiting to record a mix on your tape deck you can download the mix straight from your favorite DJ. A lot of DJs today don’t scratch or mix and are confusing people on what those two things actually entail. While some are trying to mix the beats others are mixing the lyrics in the songs. If they don’t know what a crossfader is run away. Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa didn’t sign up for this. Mixtape websites don’t even have mixing and scratching on some tapes and it’s just a bunch songs that either weren’t good enough for the album or songs that were just the artist playing around in the studio. Great DJs become the legendary producers we see today.
The DMC Championships keep the true integrity of the culture alive and we can’t forget about the Global Spin Awards. This is the watering down of our culture, one of our core elements. I am amazed to hear scratching in this day and age. I mean not necessarily the local radio DJs but these DJ *insert name here* that are the face of the DJ culture. DJ culture spans over Hip Hop and into all genres of music. The highest paid DJs aren’t even from Hip Hop Culture. DJ Jazzy Jeff still tours and makes a great living but he and other DJs deserve more. Female DJs such as DJ Jazzy Joyce and Spinderella also deserve their share of the proverbial pie. We don’t cultivate our own culture and others capitalize on the opportunity casting a cloud over where it all started. Just like MCs DJ careers have short lives since the element took a backseat to MCing. We need to respect and appreciate the art of DJing and remember we wouldn’t have MCs if it wasn’t for the DJ.
A DJ doesn’t need an MC but an MC needs a DJ.