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Blog: The Lost Art Of DJ’ing

 “I’ve been in dis game for years-it made me an animal,there’s rules to dis shit..”-biggie

Lost_ArtDJLet me first say, I am a solid DJ. Always have been. Not saying I’m the best, but I CERTAINLY can hold my own EVERY TIME I play because of the skill level. I love music. I respect the art of DJing. I know my history. I mix.scratch.cut & blend. I even chop & screw..all without the use of a computer program. I am a product of the old school. From the era where there were no DJ crews, cliques, clubs or coalitions. Where the DJ was almost an outlaw, with one mission: to be the best. Where every time you step in front of a crowd, you showcased, you competed, you earned the right to call yourself a DJ. This era, as I know it, isn’t at the forefront anymore. In fact, REAL DJs are becoming extinct. We now live in, what I have been told is: “The New Reality”. And I want to be the first to tell you: I don’t like it.

I can’t respect various aspects of this new generation of people who call themselves “djs”. They don’t respect the art of DJing, the culture of hip hop or anything having to do with upholding the rules, guidelines & etiquette that structures this thing known as “deejaying”. This new generation is like a microcosm of today’s society. Almost like back when crack hit; There were people who dropped out of high school & hit the streets to sell the drug. Starting with a small front, grinding rock for rock, working their way up the ranks in the hood until they stood on their feet, holding weight. And everyone in their hood acknowledged their climb. Some loved them. Some hated them, but they all had to respect that man for the position he had EARNED.

Then you had this mufucka in high school, who’s parents had money. This dude didn’t grit & grind, he took his allowance money or whatever and bought a beeper, found a couple of his buddies who had some hood ties & walaa..he is not only a crack dealer, but a kingpin at that. He skated in the game with weight, but didn’t earn his spot. All the material possessions the crack dealers were copping as they ascended, this dude just bought out right, with his fam’s money. He already looked like he was ballin’. To the naked eye, he was already view as one of the best, one who paid his dues.

The crack game is bad in the sense that if you are REALLY deep in the streets, you are going to take a loss..the difference is the school boy was more likely to get worked cuz he CHEATED to get in the game; He didn’t fully grasp nor adhere to the rules & as a result, he took hella losses. He thought he could make up his own rules. He thought wrong. I would love to see some of today’s generation of “djs” feel those losses, in the same way, cuz to me, they don’t respect the art or the traditions of what it means to be a DJ. I came up in the era where you had to have the respect of your hood, and as you became known, the various hoods that made up your part of the city, in order to actually call yourself a DJ. Otherwise, sum mufuckaz would liberate you from your equipment.  You couldn’t buy your way in by simply filling out an application to join a clique, or cuz you knew the promoter real well so he just let you be the DJ, like he let the girl he was fucking at the time be the door person. [Years later, you couldn’t even join a record pool if you weren’t skilled]. You couldn’t play anywhere except your bedroom until your file could be pulled and your trw came back sufficient.. Or you competed against [battled] a DJ already verified within the community. In “The New Reality”, ANYBODY with the money for equipment can call themselves a DJ, then try to learn how to do it on the job training style. As a result, the people listening to these wannabes eventually accept this as what DJing is..the new dudes come in copying what they see & along with promoters more focused on the swag over the substance of a DJ & crowds demanding nothing but the same stuff they’ve heard a million times on the radio, the DJ scene is as lame as the pro tool acid pro mixes these yelling, growling,sing along push button “djs” slap together, as the hot shit.

 As a fellow DJ, how do you feel about the exclusivity of this fraternity being breached by every Tom, Dick & Harry, Mary, Becky & Suzy with a laptop & a pair of Dre Beats headphones? What can WE do to control it, or does it even need to be controlled?

Also, In my day, it also cost to be a DJ. The blood, sweat & tears to not only get your first set of Technic 1200s, but a quality mixer, above average needles and the wax.all the newest & hottest shit starting anywhere from $5.99 & up for a 12″, as well as albums & classics, (which were at least $12.99 & up). You know, there were many a night I would take the money I made from DJing a club or party, or off of mix tapes and the next day, spend my last dollar just for MORE MUSIC. Mane, the feeling of coming home with a new stack of wax, peeling the shrink wrap off of each one, dropping the needle on the was just like Christmas! Now, with just a couple of clicks, you have all the music-free. (Which we will definitely get into in future blogs). Time’s certainly have changed, haven’t they?

As I view & review this new reality of DJing, I am not only annoyed by aspects of it and it’s participants, but I also feel the need to do my part to help PRESERVE the art of DJing, by giving my opinion, based on years doing this & knowing the code and the rules that make up what it means to be a REAL DJ. By doing this I hope to shed some light on not only the divisions but find ways to bring it back to it’s TRUE & REAL essence, by incorporating what is now with what once was.


REAL DJ’s are few & far between, a dying breed maybe..but WE haven’t left yet. WE are here. WE have been here. WE aren’t going anywhere either..

Brace yourself for opinions, observations & ideas from me DJ TNT..just an old school DJ letting it be known. Follow me on twitter if you’d like [@1djtnt] & much respect to for giving me the opportunity to be seen, heard, read & felt. I look forward to all your questions & comments & the exchange with REAL DJs, new breed “djs” & everyone in between. Whether you agree or disagree with the things I say, TOGETHER, we can all be enlightened & entertained & hopefully evoke change from this community, into “The New Reality”.

What do you think? Are you feeling how DJs in 2013 get it in? Are you one of this new breed of “dj”? Or would you consider yourself an “old school”, skills over swag DJ? Do you think the people who go to clubs even care anymore about this art form, or do they just want to “turnup” with familiarity? What role, if any, do you think promoters play in this landscape?




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Your Reaction
    • 0

    Amazing Article!!!!

    • 0

    Thanks @1djtnt for that write-up. Lame promoters/coalitions and their lame dj cliques are running the DJ game, been at venues where lame MCs feel entitled to touch my f*cking mic, just cuz they’re cool with the promoters, ordering me around lol

    • 0

    I started djing when i was 15 years old, i started off with vinyl cause i learnt off an old set of turntables my uncle and dad used back in the day. 9 years on (i use serato now, stil vinyl) and all i see from djs is a. people who just bought a set of equipment & never decided to learn the art and just claim they are a dj with no mixing ability what so ever. and b. because someone knows the head promoter of a club they get a gig, even if they have no djing skill or experience which makes them totally trash

  • You pretty much summed it up!!


    I started getting into music when I was 9yrs old than when I was around 12yrs old I started hearing a lot of radio stations with DJ’s mixing every Friday & Saturday night DJin so when I seen my brother do it, I wanted in on it too but at that time he didn’t let me use his turtables so I used the CD’s I had in a case I kept them in than when I was 16yrs old I finally got to used my brothers turntables for the first time learning on my own like I did when I first starting DJin. at that time people started carrying laptops for parties, I didn’t bother in getting one yet till I turned 18yrs old. To me I enjoyed using CD’s & the vinyls, I was stuck on that till I got use to using laptops.

  • yeah just thought i would share my experiences on the topic.

    • 0

    so question:
    what if DJ Hobo who has all the cheap equipment but can rock a crowd just as well someone who spent $1500 on their equipment…. is there a difference?

    and if so why???

  • lildick007

    i say if the job is done its done

  • i agree, i wanna hear what some of there “real DJs” have to say on the topic. Because if someone has lesser equipment, but can perform at the same level as you. 1. Whats the difference? and 2. what does that REALLY say about your abilities as a DJ, getting outperformed by someone with cheap equipment?

  • TrapRyder

    Yeah its a shame for us vets that had to spin money to purchase vinyl (doubles at that). I too had plenty of times where I would spend money I made at a gig just to purchase vinyl. Of course that was before the Record Labels started servicing me records, and even then if you needed older songs, you would have to go buy them. Times have changed for the worse I believe. Now you have these young bucks who have a lab top and a free program and think their a DJ. You have these young bucks who go out and buy a cheap ass mixer or a mix deck , etc. No skill, but they just download all the music and overnight think they are King Shit. Hell you even have some people that go out and buy top of the line equipment and for some reason they think just because they have a top of the line set-up that they are automatically a professional. These “newbies” (if you will) have gone into clubs that once would pay decent money for a skilled DJ, and have undercut prices like crazy, many offering to spin for a free bar tab and a few bucks. They don’t care about the art, they just want to be seen, or think they will be a star. Some of these ‘janky club owners’ fall for it, they figure as long as he plays all the newest shit that is out and people dance… we might as well save some money. (and it just depends on what area you are in) some club owners will not go to that level because they respect their business as well as the DJ. And don’t get me started on the Mix CD game! There are hardly ever any real “True” mixcd’s being coming out. All these wanna be and fake human jukebox djs do is just throw songs up there and add drops. Hell I’ve even heard some mixcds where the song has drops from another DJ in it. Luckily I have been blessed to continue mixing in clubs where they respect the art of being a DJ and will not hire “human jukeboxes”. They want mixing, they want scratching, they want blending along with a nice selection of music that you can not learn overnight, and that is what I give them. I just lightly touched a few topics, I could go in depth and write a book about how the game has changed, etc. but it won’t happen tonight. I’ve been a professional DJ since 1997. (started learning and crafting my skill in ’91) When I say professional that is when I landed my first steady mixshow dj on radio and started doing clubs every weekend. (And yes I use an alias when I’m online and on sites or forums) TrapRyder is just something I made for online posting. It is not my DJ Name

  • The equipment doesnt matter. I can sound the same on numarks, belt drive tables, direct drive tables, CDJs, everything. Its the skill level. The equipment just makes your job easier or harder. But skill is what makes the DJ.

  • I have a lil cousin who is one of these new DJs. I think he has a lot of potential, but I went to one of his gigs, and he sounds just as bad as I did when I first started. Which is to be expected. No one is a pro within the first year of doing something new, but this kid was in a packed club fucking shit up. All cuz he knows the owner, and can readily download free music. I told him straight up he has no business spinning in pulbic.
    I was a bedroom Dj for 7 years before I my first gig outside of school functions. It takes a lot of trial and error to get to a place of comfort where a DJ can successfully rock a party.

    • 0

    Im fairly new to the Disk Jockey game myself, no i dont call myself a DJ as of now because im still learning. I go to clubs with the “old school” dj’s to sit and learn. I listen to the “radio dj’s” and critique them. I make mixes and critique myself. Ive done research on the game and yes, i do see the game has changed tremendously. I think some of the “old school” dj’s are just a little mad at technology. (if that makes sense) Yes i understand that paying for music and vinyl cost back in the day and that showed grind to others to show you wanted to be a DJ. But some “old school” dj’s have to realize that technology will soon take over the whole damn whole. Its nothing we can really do about it. Its just a transformation “old school” dj’s have to deal with. (my opinion). However, I can agree on with “disk jockeys” calling themselves the shit when they on VDJ using there fingers and a play stop button. I cant agree on “disk jockeys” calling themselves trying to teach somebody the art when they dont know the foundation themselves. It just alot the newer generations have to really look into to actually respect the game and art of Dj’n. Also ive heard people with Technics, rane mixers, top of the line needles, macs and all and sound like shit, and ive heard the “cheap dj’s” who actually rock out with that cheap shit they bought. lol, im just saying… but I thank DJServicePack for this post! I thank them for their service for providing music and tips for people like me who are working there way to the top to earn that “DJ” title and also just making shit a little easier to find! #Salute

  • exactly! so im having a hard time finding out whats wrong with how a DJ chooses to purchase his equipment. Who are we to judge how someone paid for their turntables/mixers/speakers, ESPECIALLY since you’re not putting up any money for it. I was killing cat’s with virtual DJ before i purchased serato, so the skill was always there, music like everything else is changing, so you either adapt or be left behind. And I think its ironic DJs are complaining about newer DJs being able to download music instead of buying vinyl, on a website were DJs do just that…. DOWNLOAD MUSIC!

    What are you guys REALLY upset about??

  • salute, appreciate the comment. I feel where you are coming from and agree with you !!


    there you go. Respect

  • The one thing about Serato and MP3s that I will always love and cherish is the fact that I no longer have to carry crates. its no fun carrying 7-10 frates of music to a gig every weekend. That shit was no fun. And it leveled the playing field somewhat.
    I’ve said it a million times, DJ Clue as a Dj was garbage (I dont know if he’s gotten better over the years). But when he was killing the mixtape game it was based solely on the fact that he had access to new music long before anyone. Now we all have access to everythinng instantly.
    So for that, I’m extremely happy and pleased with MP3s and serato.

  • DJPrettyBoySteve

    I have been a DJ for fifteen years now. I started out using our house stereo. Me myself, I use two Numark NDX 800’s. I have no desire to go digital as far as a laptop/virtual DJ etc. It’s something just not real about that to me. Don’t get me wrong I have listened to DJs straight up ROCK THE CROWD using laptops and ipods etc. But, I have also battled djs with far more expensive equipment and I have spanked them like a newborn baby. In the end, my opinion is that djing is in your soul. Some of the lamest dudes that I know are djs now and I just shake my head. But, with all the music being free now it’s so easy to get in the game and build up a clientele because the crowds have changed and they are less demanding than they were ten years ago. 75% of these djs would not have lasted back in the day when you had to grit and grind and really put on a show in order to capture the crowd and gain your respect. Just my opinion. Please don’t take my post personally.

    • 0

    EXCELLENT READ!!! I would consider my self an “Old Skool DJ” because when I started DJing at 11 it took skill and knowledge of the craft to even THINK about calling your self a DJ. I didn’t start labling my self as a DJ until I was 15. Many new age DJs of today did not put the work in that’s needed to become an accomplished performer. Many are great hype-men that have eliminated the job of a traditional DJ and plays the music for themselves.The issue is that they have no idea what job they want and what the job description calls for them to do. A DJ can hype a crowd by their display of skills on turntables (or the digital equivilant) without saying a word or spitting lyrics. An EMCEE can get a crowd hyped by their lyrical skills. A HYPE-MAN creates excitement by communicating to a crowd through words, phrases, chants, etc… The unfortunate part is when club owners and promoters confuse a hype-men for a DJs and hire them as DJs – allowing them to believe that they should be called DJs. Am I bitter? No, I just wish they would educate themselves and learn about the history and the full amount of work it really takes to be a REAL DJ.

    • 0

    I agreed with alot of was said.. Great article #Salute

    • 0


  • I am going thru this exact example at a club I spin at.. They hired this kid to Dj,the patrons that come to the club complained,so a friend put me on,I go in talk to the owner Blahzay Blah.. I do my thing,I get hired Boom. I’ve been rockin there on Saturdays for a few weeks,so now I’m gettin familiar with everyone,come to find out this kid ain’t tryna be a Dj,he wants to be a Rapper/Mc,but because he has “Virtual Dj” on his Desk Top computer & an American Audio controller,the club let him play.

    • 0

    #100 ALL DAY

    • 0

    so question, what big events are you DJs of 10+ years getting currently or have gotten in the past??

  • True,I’ve rocked/started out on cheap shit & top of the line,it’s all about skill & knowledge to me.. Only thing technology did is make things a lil easier,I can admit I DO NOT MISS carrying 10,20,30 crates of vinyl + equipment lol..

  • DJ Shonny Shon

    Awesome article and opinions from every aspect of the entertainment field. Myself i’ve been DJ’ing since the 80’s with a massive collection of vinyl which i still crate dig to this day! The game has evolved into a whole new realm of entertainment, but without the essentials and knowledge of the basics your only putting n expiration date or yourself and your talent. There wasn’t always a sync button, bpm, or intro to save your set. You had to have creativity, speed , and knowledge of music to keep the energy of your set from beginning to end and unfortunatly programs like Virtual DJ, Itch, etc made it easy for amatures to compete with professionals. Today everyone is a DJ and never carried or owned a piece of wax ever and that i find disheartening. To each his own with his or her own dollar I guess, it won’t affect me one way or another because i know and respect the roots but I also embrace change. You can either learn to grow or become bitter about it which is happening with the older DJ’s. Personally my choice is one turntable and Serato. This will be as far into the “New DJ” market as i will go simply because my 1200’s have been there for me even when technology has failed. Keep spinning fellow Technicians!

  • Bottom line “It’s Ur Equipment”..Nobody Touches my stuff if I don’t say so..Keep in mind Bro,U are in charge of U & ur equipment,ain’t Nobody gonna replace/give u $ if they break anything.

  • Practice Practice & more Practice.. I still practice,even at gigs lol..I been inspired since 1988 & been in it since 01′

  • The gripe is this.. New Djs don’t know about replacing needles,carrying crates of vinyl,spending your last dollar or the money made from your last gig to buy new music,they (not all) never take the time to practice,learn bpms,tempos,song/music structure. It’s like get a laptop,ipod,Dj software/equipment watch a few Youtube vids. & Presto” I’mma Dj”.. lol

    • 0

    Ive been in the biz for 37 years. Spinning before 1200’s. Started on QRK radio station tables. I agree about “DJ Five Dolla Holla” type DJ’s & the fraudulence that they bring but I do like the new technology. I hated carrying all those crates. Im a Serato DJ now. I started with crap for equipment & worked my way up to now. Young DJ’s should be required to spin vinyl for a year to “Make Their Bones” so to speak. That is just the way of the world now. We can teach the younger ones but only if they will listen & learn. I for one wont stop spinning til they make me stop & Im 51…..

  • Me: I’ve been blessed to work with some great Djs.. I’ve opened for Biz Markie,Faith Evans,I’ve Battled & still do local Bars,Lounges & Parties..I can admit I’m not well known nor am I where to be as a Dj,I always wanted to be a Dj since 1988,I finally got my start Professionally in 2001,but It’s been quite a learning experience & ALOT of Practice lol

  • solid response

  • I feel you on that! lol

    • 0

    I Love this post. I like everyone else had a love for music at a young age. The only difference was even though my dad was a DJ while in the army I didn’t get to practice at a young age. I currently work for WZFX in Fayetteville, been there about 7 years. All the DJs there are seasoned vets at between 10-20+ years in the game. I finally decided to embrace the culture I loved. I started practicing on Technics late nights after our shows were over for a number of months. A colleague of mine let me borrow his Numark NS7 so I could practice at home. I was on that damn thing night & day for months & months until I was able to record something my coworkers deemed “Ight” I’m definitely a New Age cat I don’t call myself a DJ. So far I’ve been on the scene “Spinning music” a lil over a year. I bought a brand new NS7 & I practice as much as possible. I’ve taken losses like homeboy said, Older DJs have looked down on me but at the same time my peers have given me praise. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I have gotten. I blend, cut, scratch & I still know I have much to learn & I study techniques & experiment with things. I wanna be looked at as an equal that’s it, I plan on earning it Str8 up.

    Much respect to all the True DJs & the Newer DJs who take it seriously

  • Thank You To Dj Service Pack, the whole collective family in general.

  • i agree with the last part of your statement, but what I disagree with i s you saying that since we didn’t use needle or carry around crates of vinyl, or didn’t spend our “last dollar” on equipment, you have an issue with how we work. Times have changed and so has the equipment, i use CDjs, but I can mix, blend change pitch/ tempo with THE BEST OF THEM. Thats like some old dude saying that you’re not a real man because you didn’t grow your own fruit to eat.



    • 0

    Great Article and 100% Real Talk, I understand your frustration. I remember when I first started it really took me 3 years to realized the mystery of BPM, caused 3 years prior I was merely matching beats by feeling and imagination of making two songs blend with basic rhythm similarities, it wasn’t until I started hanging out more in record shops and at clubs for hours on end that I started to see numbers written on covers and it really wasn’t till I met DJ Xtreme(Tampa) that I learned the stop watch counting beats routine. I’ve been Djing for 17 years now and it hurts when anyone can learn the science of beat matching in seconds either by youtube, serato, dvd tutorials, or even dj schools now, a thing that was no where to be found back then. I resent this for the very reason that for us to get to the top the climb was the summit of Mt. Everest, today these kids have a shitty hill, more of a valley stretch if you ask me. This is the very reason they get in clubs quickly, I’ve seen countless old school DJs taking pride in teaching the craft and making shortcuts for their young ones based from their career experience. (However, I don’t knock that father/son relationship) but since I’m still in the game it’s really more competition for one’s livelihood. It’s the digital age so having kids myself I see how quickly they adapt and conquer technology, to be real honest were like dinosaurs in comparison, we sometimes over think when it comes to software and new gadgets caused we are used to the ancient times of the past. Kids today figured out they need to get in magazines, create music and get their apps developed and conquer every emotion in each and every promoter’s mind. The sad part to this story is that we are sometimes stuck in the very mentality of back in the day, we are still looking for legendary records, we still concentrate on dope sets and we still believe that one epic night at any big club whether in Miami or New York or even Vegas for that matter, will catapult us to Tiesto type arena events. For example; I had a promoter on South Beach with a dead club on Washington Avenue (Club Nowhere) asked me if I can pull a guaranteed crowd. So I decided to give him a history lesson, just so he can realized what it really is. You see back in the day when we carried crates, we had on average about 500-800 records to take with us to the club, we also had an Entourage; it consisted of at least one or two homies who were packing heat, 5-6 party goers and their friends 6-10 on average with girlfriends – all these people were here to carry all of the shit it took to put a party together 6-7 crates, turntables, mixer, etc.. some dudes had even more stuff, like their own monitor for instance cause back then even the club owners were stupid in regards to sound design.
    I told this guy on Washington ave. that back then just for showing up to DJ I would bring 25-50 people which was already a party, not to mention the flyers I would pass out and the word of mouth. Now, I told him if you really want to do business, you have to pay me for DJing and give me the revenue of the door because in today’s game, it takes a viral team of apps, time and even overseas outsourced Indian colleagues to mass promote any venue in America especially if you don’t have a Main artist or the local Mafia(Radio Stations) involved. – He looked at me and said, you know Rico and better off just hiring some kid that’s new to the game for $50 and a bar tab for him and his friends and I will get it popping. — That’s when I realized, how incredibly horrible it has gotten. – For the record, I have a lot of friends that are traveling and still doing it, I learned that there’s still a need for us folks with skills, but for the main part, the money is not in America, the money is Overseas, The average resident DJ here tops out at $500 a night whether djing Space in Miami or Amnesia in NY, only record producer/djs or dudes with solid followings the likes of Camilo, Kid Capri, Jazzy Jeff, Tony Touch get that $5000 a show in the US for the rest of us, you have to grind very hard and represent yourself big. Buy ads, in magazines, look for endorsements, mail mixtapes(CDs) out, cause the weekly competition locally is based on who can bring the most individuals out, is not based on talent anymore – sad days my friend – but overseas we are gods and the money is there.

    • 0

    First and foremost I want to say that this is an amazing article and I will advise anyone that thinks they are a DJ to read this immediately!! There is plenty of truth in these words but I feel like I need to explain myself as a laptop DJ..

    Ive been DJin for only 5 years, but was raised on REAL Hip-Hop.. When I started, my city had an extremely small market, all the TRUE DJs were in radio and too expensive, and just couldnt connect to the locals that well so when I was asked to get into it, I had nothing but a laptop and some cheap $50 program and would open up for the bigger DJs or do small house events.. 4-6 months later I bought my first device, a Dmix-300 and played all my music from a flash drive.. Now, I make all my files digital for 2 reasons, and that is so that I never have to worry about skipping, and so that I dont have to carry crates of CDs.. By the end of my 2nd year DJing, I bought my 1st controller.. The Stanton SCSystem 1m & 1d.. It was an amazing controller and allowed me to play with effects and run 4 decks w/ only 1 platter, and I loved that because theres no feeling like mixing the right sounds together and getting the crowds reaction before the words are even spoken.. I am a laptop DJ, who started in the digital world but that doesn’t make me invalid.. I mix, I scratch, I cut, and I blend too.. I’m not the best by a long shot, but I can most definitely hang and go harder than your average radio DJ.. Now nothing bugs me more than to see someone only using a laptop and getting credit as if they are the most amazing guy in town.. I can’t DJ w/ just a laptop using Traktor Scratch, and I refuse to do an event that doesnt allow me to bring my platter, because each event I do I want to be able to give it my all and I can’t do that by clicking a mouse.. Now I have all the respect in the world for the old skool DJs and you are the ones I learn and study more than anything.. I bought my first Vinyl turntables at the beginning of March (Stanton STR8-150s).. It has the world’s strongest torque motor, and everything the Technics had and then some.. I did that because I want to learn the art of scratching and I can’t do that without learning how to spin a real record.. And I know a lot of ppl are looking at this right now thinking, how do I call myself a DJ and I’ve never played a record, but how can you call yourself a musician and you can’t read music?? It doesn’t matter how you play it, what matters is you are putting in the work and the crowd truly loves it.. Plus, I came up on tapes and CDs..

    I’ve been building my reputation, grinding for 5 years now.. And I wish people were like they were back in the day, but that is impossible w/o money now and I’ve never been one to have the dollars like that.. I’ve DJed the Nation’s largest theatre convention’s (Southeastern Theatre Conference) closing ceremony for the last 3 out of 4 years.. I’ve done radio for the local station here in town.. Ive DJed the Jubilee Festival in Selma w/ artists such as Lenny Williams and Ruben Studdard.. I DJ mostly in North Alabama, but have been seen all over the southeast and there are still people in my own city of Huntsville that have no idea who I am or what I do.. That is just the nature of the business in 2013 and I am okay with that..

    But the point I’m making is this, I respect the art of DJing, I know my history and I learn more about it each and every day.. But I’ve also adapted to the times and I don’t use my laptop as a crutch, but as a device to do more and add on to accomplish things that my tables can’t do.. The skill level of a turntablist is phenomenal but in this day and age there is so much more to explore now, and I feel like too many of the old skool DJs are looking down on us new guys just because we do it differently..



  • DaBarber

    Some of the realest shit i’ve ever heard. I remember coming up under others and only lifting speakers and crates just to be able to observe, so i’m old school for sure. There is no respect for the craft by djs and promoters alike. But i also blame some of the real djs that allow promoters to class them with the wannabes. I’ve seen this coming a long time ago and don’t get me wrong, I love being a dj, but i’ve always secured other forms of income. So i stand my grounds and demand my respect. And as a real dj, before you take someone under your wing as a dj, make the go through some of what you went through to obtain your experience and see if they stick around.


  • Couldnt have said it better myself..

  • The Future is most likely gonna be the Smart Jukebox, the one that can read a crowd and then we will all become fossils. 🙁

  • That’s mostly what I’ve heard from Djs in my age group,I agree to an extent,but I myself love what technology has brought to the Dj world/culture as well as watchin the new Djs come up..

    • 0

    So what im getting from you all, is that we all hate the DJs that think they’re hot within the first 3 months of DJing right? Or is there more to this?

  • It all depends on what you mix, I’ve realized that the more genres of music you spin the more venues you gain, for instance I work at a club in Atlanta, where there’s 3 rooms, Main Room is Pop, the Second Room is House and the Third Room is Latin, and I’m blessed to whereas I can rock any room all night. Some people still have a lot of stereo types when it comes to music, but you can break barriers through remixes and knowledge of different artists and genres. Example: Most upscale high end venues don’t like hip hop being played on their Saturday night even though most of the white people won’t stop requesting 2 chainz and every hood song in the book, but the club will still let you go in with an edm remix of it, which it’s surreal but it still keeps everyone happy. I say if you’re looking for Big Events, get your demo mixes ready, hire a pro photographer, get yourself a press-kit (pdf) or a printed one, send them out and if you got skills you will get booked.

  • It’s a form of hate to see somebody who is unqualified getting paid sometimes more to DJ where we clearly belong. Example: Ultra Music Festival; They have DMC Champs DJ Craze and DJ Atrak, where do they put them? on a smaller stage than Guetta, Tiesto or Swedish House Mafia… DJ Craze or Atrak can teach those dudes what time it is, but unfortunately it has come down to production winning over performance skills, because production is a talent as well. – Now in our market, it comes down to skills, so yeah, if you are rocking the main room and your wack, I am coming for that job and I don’t expect anyone else to not do the same, metaphorically speaking 🙂

  • Dj Dacick 1

    Man I agree wit this 100%, All these push button DJs have no skill …. and as easy as it is to mix when u have a SYNC button, lol ….. U still have Djs slaming tracks …. I also agree with the downloading mp3’s for free, people don’t even realize how much money thats taking out of Hip Hop

  • DJ 23

    I agree with this . I am a 14 year old DJ in the ATL but I use a laptop and a vinyl based turntable: the NUMARK NS7. I was raised listening to Old School Hip-Hopand I respect the real quality DJs that used Vinyl. I see that you have to be real skilled to use the Vinyl records. I am glad this article was written because there are alot of WANNA-BE DJS out there who try and act like they know what they are doing. Hopefully, I’ll learn how to use the vinyl soon and become well-rounded on the both types of turntables. Thanks, DJ 23

  • Not as long as the real DJs can read the crowd better..

  • This is true.. Craze is one of the most amazing DJs in it right now!! He should never be on a small stage anywhere..

  • DJ G-Money aka Mr. Fo Stacks

    I agree with this 100%. I remember carrying a minimum 12 crates to a gig . Then digging in the crates in the dark in a club or house party , you had to know your music . It wasn’t in front of you it was behind you on a table or on the floor if there wasn’t a table available. .

  • It’s not that we hate those that that THINK they’re hot, just want them to do more research on what they’re doing. Know how to control a party’s crowd, what songs should be played and when they should be played, and (which will open up another can of worms) what should be charged for doing certain gigs. Going in to a gig not knowing what should be charged and only getting paid the pennies being asked because that’s good enough for you… bad business for ALL DJs

    • 0

    Man of my own heart. I started with all radio shack gear, then stepped up to Pyramid everything and then Technics & all real gear. Dues have been paid. Been doing this for over 25 years, be real!

  • yea, but David Guetta brings a bigger fanbase than Atrak. A concert promoter would be insane to put a small name DJ on a big stage based off of personal opinions

  • you DO know what website you’re on right?

  • so is their a problem with advancements in technology?

    • 0

    why do DJs have an issue with advancements in technology? Im hearing a lot of “we had to dig in crates, we had to buy vinyl, we had to peel the vinyl”… technological advancements have made it so we don’t have to use such primitive equipment. Society as a whole is evolving DJs should as well

  • Dj Dacick 1

    yeah i know what site i’m on …. and I just dropped a few words …. wasn’t my full opinion cause I would have went in just like the letter did … yep

    • 0

    I agree somewhat with this article but also disagree. I started learning from other old school DJs in the game carrying there equipment to gigs and watching them and learning. I started out on my own vinyl tables with a hand me down mixer and did lil gigs here and there to get my experience up. I now use serato with my numark ns7 but have my vinyl tables at the ready just in case. Like all things evolution of technology is inevitable. This new tech just makes it easier for us to go from gig to gig or do multiple gigs without having to carry around a bunch of crates and equipment. With this new tech you still have to learn it and know the basics of mixing and blends and all that. You still have to spend days building up your music database with all the hot new music and hot old school music too. DJ service pack although free allows us to do this faster and at one place. The ability to read a crowd money can’t buy so no matter what equipment or promoter friends that new dj has if he don’t know his crowd then he fucked either way. I must say it is difficult to get gigs with these djs undercutting or doing it for cheap just to get the fame or the girls in the club but the real always stands out over anything. I’ve DJed big shows with DJ Love Dinero, DJ Relly Rell, DJ Hella Yella, DJ Smalls, and more and they all were amazed at the skill it takes to use a controller just like the skill it takes to use vinyl. The ability to rock a crowd doesnt matter on what equipment you use. I respect all DJs who do this for the love of music and the love of making people feel some kind of way. I dj because I can rock a crowd no matter what demographics but I cant sing or rap. The real gone weed out the fake all the time. When them promoters get tired of hearing the same 30 songs over and over or when they get tired of an empty dance floor then they gone come back to the real. #Salute

  • Trill talk bro.

  • Dj Dacick 1

    U can evolve …. but if U rely on equipment to do all the work and not the DJ …. it kills the art … dat’s all i’m sayin …. U know how long it takes to learn differen scratch techniques …….also wit Serato and BPM matching … every dam DJ BLENDS THE EXACT SAME MIXES …..

  • The only thing serato replaced was the part of carrying around crates of music. You still use vinyl and needles with the software unless you use cdjs. but i feel ya on that. and now with the web you can find free music anywhere. the music industry has changed so much that you can get music directly from the artist free.

    • 0

    Well I started DJ back in 1986 my first set of turntables was mix-matched with a Radio Shack Realistic mixer. I got my first set of belt drive Technics SL-22 turntables in 1989, and then i got my first pair of 1200’s in 1995….Today in 2013 I can appreciate technology where is now, because my back don’t miss lugging 6-7 crates of records, and a bag….LOL!! Even with all this new technology out here, a real DJ has to execute the basic skills, Proper mixing ability, knowing how and where to transition the next song. Build a musical ear, listen to a song, and know what round-about BPM it is. Mix a song that’s 50-BPM with a song 100-BPM, some DJ’s can’t do that. That’s just a few basics every DJ should know or have.

    All these wanna-be DJ’s never hurt my pockets. I’ve been consist for 27 years now, and still get new clients every year….

    Oh were not going to even talk about the $5 Holla DJ’s who uncut the skilled DJ just to get the job. I stick by my prices either pay it or you don’t, just like the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. that goes for DJ’s also.

    But if you want to stay in this game, you have to keep up with the, “Jones”. I mix Videos now, got 2 100″ screens, projectors, tha whole 9!! That is a major addition to your whole show, and more money in your pocket, because at the end of the day it’s still a business

    • 0

    I like this discussion I have it all the time I have been Djing since the age of 13 when my brother woud leave the house and i would jump on his 1200’s with Vaughn Mason ( Bounce Skate Rock Roll ) Now Im 185 milk crates / 4 Technic 1200’s and still doing my thing with Serato 16tb of mp3’s but i can turn it off and dig in the crate and still rock a show !!! Check Out The Fleet Flavers Mixshow for the old school Hip Hop / R and B !!! Also go to my website and like the facebook page

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    By The way Im not with this computer stuff all the time in other words here is my contact 706-951-5440 call and lets network !!!!

  • you say it like BPMs were invented with serato tho…. BPMs are nothing but measuring tools of what sounds good with what. There is no automatic blend button on serato, at least i haven’t found one yet… maybe im wrong

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  • Selectah Cy

    tru story

  • Selectah Cy

    My first dj experience was in 98. I use to carry crates for my brother and DJ Q45 of YMCMB back in 99-00. The first records I blended was a Red Rat accapella to a 36 Mafia instrumental. I appreciate the skills required back in the day to keep the job distinguished, but cmon man if we are hating on technology and the advancements in the music industry then their is a slight problem. We might as well put a ban on Microsoft word and spell check and go back to typewriters and white out. I agree with you as far as people being able to buy equipment and slap a label on themselves, but nothing is worse than a scratched record ( or just a piece of lint even on a record) or a broken needle during a set. Technology has extremely reduced the margin for error to occur and as dj’s we all know that one mistake can kill your reputation and blow a first impression. There are cats who buy equipment, still cant mix , blend, scratch or just simply cant put the right 2 songs together. Just because bpms match doesnt mean the key will blend or the songs make sense being joined. DJ’ing is far deeper than being a beat juggler or doin all types of fancy trick moves…at the end of the day the fact of the matter is, did you turn the party up or did you trainwreck all night. Did your project come out clean? Did your mixtape make sense, with the direction of the songs played? There is still a substantial amount of talent required to spin effectively. Lets not knock the new era or we might as well start knocking cell phones, microwaves, barber clippers, computers, online clouds to preserve files, etc…… Equipment doesnt make the dj…’s make the equipment. So what if it more affordable? More people entertaining the craft the better. If you rise above the competition, that just means your better than more people than in the past.

  • MelvinTheGreat

    It’s 2013….technology went allll the way up….we don’t gotta carry crates…none of that no more…get over it….truth be told…nobody wanna hear all that scratching and stuff in the club no more….it’s rappers out going platinum with “no lyrics”…dj’s going platinum who don’t scratch (Khaled)…it’s just how the cookie crumble now….maybe ya’ll ain’t doing something right….quit hating and get $$$$

  • I hope the club owners and promoters keep it old school when that time comes but that’s a far stretch fam

  • DJ Sixsational #A1

    Times are changing, people are changing, and the music is changing… As A Result The Art Form Of DJing Is CHANGING… I Hope You Didn’t Think It Would Remain Stagnant And Not Keep Up With The Times. I Try To Respect The Craft As Much As I Can And Stay True To The Original Art Form, But The Crowds These Days Are Looking To “TURN UP” And Don’t Look For Scratching and Blending As Much As You Playing The Hottest Tracks Out, But That Goes Into These Promoters Paying For Djs Who Will Do It For Dirt Cheap, I Always Tell Them “You Get What You Pay For”

    • 0

    Well our take on this is kind of mixed different being that we are a reggae sound system. For those who don’t know what a reggae system is, its pretty much a group of DJ’s (otherwise known as selectors), hype man/MC, and possibly some technicians. Our sound system was formed originally in 1999 but we’ve been DJ’ing/selecting since 1993 on other sound systems. I know that there was a comment about DJ coalitions, but be aware that one of the founders of hip hop, DJ Kool Herc is originally from Jamaica and did grow up listening to sound systems in Kingston. So we really cant knock on DJ coalitions. It’s pretty much the same concept. I do agree that vinyl is a thing that all DJ’s should be familiar with. We all used 12inch and 7 inch vinyls (that usually came from Jamaica), as well as dubplates (exclusive songs made by reggae artists bigging up our sound system/DJ’s/selectors). It was back breaking hauling around all those vinyl, as well as our heavy equipment. Now that we’re in our mid 30’s, we don’t miss it one bit. Serato, Traktor and etc has made our lives alot easier. We give props to those who are still carrying around crates of records!! At the same time, alot of record labels/companies don’t make much vinyl pressings. And because of that, we will see even more “computer DJ’s”. So to answer the question, we are original ol’ school rude bwoy selectors/DJ’s!!!

    P.S. These newer DJ’s & sound systems need to stop taking on these low paying gigs from promoters & etc… They’re making it a lot harder to make descent money

  • i agree to an extent. I don’t see wat carrying crates has to do with rocking a party, And as a DJ i scratch out of instinct, i taught myself , but a DJ should at least know how to do it. Im not gon hate on a n*gga gettin his money tho. It seems like thats a lot of that goin on here


    Honestly, I am a product of the “new school” DJ. I use a Numark controller and I enjoy the convenience of using the new technology. I also respect the old school djs, because the really showcased skill and the art of Djing. Since the year I started, I always wanted to learn the in and outs of being a DJ, but it didnt take that to get my first gig. To be honest, all it took was my computer. The same way the Old School had to grind to improve the skills and equipment, its the same grind I’m going through now. I didnt have anybody to take me under their wing and teach me how to dj, so the skills I do have, I learned on my own. I admire the old school DJ and I am working to learn how to mix, scratch,etc like they did because it something I want to learn how to do.

    Im from Memphis but I DJ at while Im at school in Chattanooga.

    • 0

    Real djz know tha origin and should have gone thru what we all have gone thru 2 truly b called “Djs”. Regardless of how great Serato iz, it would never have come along without tha blood, sweat, and many tearz of tearing up mom and dad’z recordz back in tha day. People don’t respect where thiz art came from, and anybody with a laptop now can b a DJ. I mean can u really say that Paris Hilton or Pauly D r DJs? GTFOH

    • 0

    S/O to Dj P-Caso #TeamSTONE

    • 0

    I’m cool with both methods. I feel if you wake up with the TRUE passion in your heart to DJ, then you’re a DJ. If you eat, sleep and s**t Technic 1200s, you’re a DJ. If you can trick mix using vinyl or mp3s via Serato, you’re a DJ. I mix with Serato, but I practice scratching with vinyls. This doesn’t make it any different. I can do both. And I do it with the passion for honoring those DJs before me. I think the disconnect is if you don’t have the passion for it and you just want to get paid for deejaying with a laptop.

    Personally, I think the TRUE DJs are more accepting of using Serato. Prime example, believe it or not, DJ Premier. You can’t tell me that DJ Premier ain’t DJ royalty. And he uses Serato. So I say all that to say don’t touch a pair of 1200s if you’re not willing to be true to the art form, the culture and honor the REAL DJs that made you want to do this.

    • 0

    I agree with this blog as an upcoming Dj in this new era. Its true anybody with money to buy equipment do call themselves DJs. Ive been wanting to Dj since i saw the movie Juice lol. That was what 91, 92? Nigga its 2013 and all I have is a control pad for Virtual Dj. I still can rock a party with that little muthfucka though!!! Technology today makes it so easy to do anything. What is going to set DJs and Rappers apart today is the mindset and the mentality. The dedication to the art and the will to excel to be better than the next. In my Opinion, The art hasn’t died, but the Passion for the art has died. SOME aren’t as serious as others because technology makes it so easy today. Some do it for the looks, some for the money, others for the honeys, but I do it cuz I like to see people have fun. And when your having fun it doesn’t matter how old or new the music or style is as long as it jams!! But i respect the grind and the hustle as a Dj cuz b4 rappers and MCs was the Djs, thats why i really want to dj. So I’ll rock this Dj control pad out until I fell ready to Pop a check on some fancy equipment cuz I have That much respect for the art. Its for the Love not for the Clubs!!!

    • 0

    I feel as though yes. People should pay their dues yes people should grind to get to the top but in todays scene . . people undercut way too much ..thats in any city. But as far as who djs and who doesnt Is my biggest issue . . If someone uses a controller instead of a tech who care or virtual instead of a cdj . so what. you have too start somewhere in some cases and some versions arent for every one. . some djs dont even like to scratch . . so why get a tech? Thers soo much I would like too say but I have a thesis paper too write instead of this right now lol.. but what I mean is.. Instead of the generations fighting against each other. we should stand together .. A lot of people who would like to get into it are getting deterred by things they hear or say . . Djs we are the backbone of most the very least we should have each others back at least a tad bit.

  • dnomed

    It’s about preserving the artform and the culture. It’s about respect for the craft. I agree wholeheartedly with the opinions of the writer but I had to compromise a little bit to be able to catch the attention of the new generation just so I can school them to the essence of what a true DJ is. I still use my Technique 1200 turntables but I had to adapt and get Serato. People are amazed when they see turntable and I rock the party. Honestly, I get more attention these days because of my oldskool methodology. I must admit the love was stronger back in the day, and the money was better. It meant something special to meet another DJ back then. The new generation will never understand. Even the battles these days don’t require the amount of skill and dexterity that was required back then. The new generation views calling themselves a “DJ” as a hustle or a way to get pussy. It’s not right I tell you.

  • dnomed

    DJ’s should adapt but keep the true essence of the artform.

  • “U can evolve….but if U rely on equipment to do all the work and not the DJ …. it kills the art …” very well said!!

  • I agree, deejaying is changing & I don’t have anything against technology per se, but it’s almost like tradition being tampered with..too much. REAL DJs have been turning up with the traditional set up long before “turn up” became the flavor of the month.

  • valid point. I use Serato. I use it because there is nothing like having my complete library at my fingertips. [And I don’t miss hauling the crates back & forth either..and still not having everything]. I don’t use it to mix by watching waveforms, or to create preset playlists where you hear the same songs in the exact order I want to play them in. I also don’t try to make bpm crates. Those things in my opinion aren’t what REAL DJs do.

  • I wouldn’t call it hating in that sense cuz best believe any REAL DJ could do the exact stuff that’s being done now effortlessly. We just choose to hold onto something that we consider true & real. Just because everything is switching up, that doesn’t make it right, does it?


  • It means something when you do things the right way. When you learn the traditional way, then you branch out. True sucka “djs” & these quick buck “promoters” are doing that same ole two step but I absolutely agree, READING A CROWD is a key component in any REAL DJ’s arsenal. #RESPECT

  • I agree completely.

  • Exactly.


  • I can respect it mane.

  • And you are another example of what we are trying to accomplish not just with this blog, but when we speak to the new generation of deejays. If you REALLY want to learn, I am certain you can get with ANY “old school DJ” in your area & they will be glad to mentor you on the art form. We want to see it thrive, the right way.

  • When your dues have been paid, RESPECT must be given. #RESPECT

  • exactly, making it work.

  • THIS!



  • I agree completely.

  • My sentiments exactly.

  • Interesting comments to me. Part of the problem is the “who cares” mentality when it comes to who, when & how one deejays. And if some get deterred by things they hear & what’s said, then they have an issue WITHIN THEMSELVES, cuz yes this is and has always been tough in some areas. And the more popular deejaying is becoming, the uglier the fighting will be. REAL DJs are against sucka “djs” regardless of their age, particularly if they prance around like THEY are the shit. This ain’t a popularity contest or a fashion show. SKILLS or lack thereof are what we are critiquing as REAL DJs.

  • I agree.

  • I agree with a lot of what you said. The problem is WHO is determining who is better than the competition & what is the criteria they are judging with & what are THEIR credentials to be judging?

  • Good for you DJ 23! I am certain if you want to learn how to deejay the right way, you will find older DJs who will show you. Don’t be afraid to seek them out & talk with them.

  • RESPECT to you as well! WE have something in common in that I was late on those changes as well.. I didn’t want to give up what I considered to be true & real. Great comments!


  • Selectah Cy

    Indeed. There are alot of people in the industry who are referred to as “djs” (wont name drop, but we all know) who dont even touch any type of decks…..slap some protools and loud talking on a project and your a dj now lol. Much props to alot of what you are addressing. Its good to hear a reputable VET drop science for the new skoolers to take and use to make themselves more better at the craft. #Salute

  • Thank you for putting up the article my friend 😉

  • Leon Rogers

    Being a stand up comedian I understand your point on respecting the craft for ours are similar tell the wrong joke lose the crowd drop the wrong record clear the floor…I have been djin in Chicago for 5 yrs now and i hate the term celebrity DJ…i say no Im a DJ i blend scratch, remix on the fly all of that and can do it with out serato. What I cant stand is the OLD HEAD DJ’s that frown upon every new dj without even checking there background or dedication to the art form…. Ive had numerous dj’s that i was fans of and respected when i first started didnt want to lend advice or mentor me but i also found 1 or 2 that embraced the fact that I took intrest in there art form even though at a late age….I told them I dont do it for the fame I LOVE ALL GENRES OF MUSIC and its kind of a release for me! I see the hate amongst dj’s in particular the undercutting, the backstabbing, the siding with promoters when promoters screw over dj’s and dj’s allow it! When the dj’s are the party if they were to band together they could control the party scene like the DJ’s once did…now the art form is not respected like it used to be You could be rocking a party i mean bananas with it…That one drunk chick that wants to hear a 62 bpm Chief Keef song when your into your old school hip hop set and if you dont play it your the worst dj ever!!! lol DJ’s are scared to drop new music or get diverse in clubs because the SHEEPeople want to hear the same crap they can hear on the radio everyday I call it Zombie music…..No one wants to sacrifice there swag for fear the zombies will not like them….I just hope DJ’s wether they play on Ipads, CDJ, controllers, or turntables…JUST KEEP MUSIC ALIVE BECAUSE THATS OUR JOB AS DJ’S!

  • Leon Rogers

    Also to add to the above technology makes it more convinent for dj’s but you still have to have the skillset when mixing particular generes like hip hop ,disco, deep house etc…EDM is really the only form of music i can see someone spinning with no skills its easy to sync that…..

  • djtmoney1


  • djtmoney1

    Back in the day i had a stop watch and count beat on some records i put the beat count on tape on put it on the 12″ lol dam that was back in the day LOL

  • djtmoney1

    I Been around for 27yrs or longer we always counted beats lol. some records you played so much you just know the beat count lol

  • djtmoney1

    I agree i have Video also love it either get in or get out

  • DJb Belly

    straight up… its ok to evolve I use the pionners ddj-sx and I fisrt started with turntables. all the same to me

  • manscant

    I don’t usually like to be the scrappy kid going “fuck you gramps”, but the fact that this is all in caps-lock and angry just voids the entire argument.