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Discussion: Who is to blame for undercutting? The DJ Or The Promoter?

moneyLet’s face it! We all have the same problem. This is a problem I’d like to address and open up the discussion with the entire djservicepack.com community, and that problem is undercutting.

For those who do not know what undercutting is, its defined as “Offering goods or services at a lower price than (a competitor)”. This is good when you selling candy or ice pops in your neighborhood, but when it comes to DJing… HELL NO!!

You dj’s who are undercutting are killing us a a DJ culture. When you undercut, the market value for a DJ decreases. You think you’re doing yourself a favor because you got the gig…Nope!!

Earlier this year I tried to DJ this event thats pretty big in Atlanta. I was offered the gig, not too long after the promoter called me back and said another DJ called him and said he will do it for $40… Has this happened to you before as well?

Wait. Hold up…

I’m charging $250, which nowadays seems to be more than standard and this N*GGA — excuse my ghetto — charges $40! Lets say your equipment gets stolen. ALL OF IT. Laptop, Turntables, Speakers, etc….That average setup cost around $1,500 – 3,000. Now lets go back to that $40 that you got with yo undercutting A$$….$40 is less than 2% into $3,000 you idiot! SMH.

See it doesn’t help you at all so why do it? We know why!! Because you can’t any gigs, and charging low is the only way for you to get your proverbial “foot in the door” . Foot in the door tactics acceptable when you do one or two gigs for free just to get into that promoters grace. That’s fine. We’ve all done it, but when you’ve been DJing for at least a year or two and you’re charging $40.. N*GGA PLEASSSE!!!!! Please duct-tape two Technics 1200’s to your ankles and jump off a bridge.

If you feel like you’re going to lose a gig if you charge more, PRACTICE MORE. Get it to the point to where no matter what price you put out there, you will be paid. WE are the party, without music there are no people dancing, no one is enjoying themselves, etc.

Back in the day, DJs charged $600-1000 standard. What gives you the right to erode the image of our profession and passion?. STAND YOUR GROUND. Yes, we are in era where DJing is becoming less talentless daily, but if we don’t take a stand for our literal self-worth, we will continue to lose gigs to someone’s “Ratchet Playlist” on their iPhone.

Make the right choice, don’t undercut.

Now, the undercutting DJ is not all to blame here. There is also the promoter who is hiring that DJ for $40. These promoters do not respect the hip hop culture and they feel dj’s are just human juke boxes. In many cases, promoters are not educated with what “Real” DJ’s do, because there are so few “real” DJ’s left. A real promoter wants his party to jump. The party jumps when you have a real DJ. But a lot of these promoters are only counting the money, and not trying to build a brand. They look at this hip hop culture as a hustle, and take no pride in what they do. They are raping the game and it is effecting everyone, such as the DJ’s who really rock parties who are now being undercut. It effects the fans who go to the club and want to have an experience, because now they are in the club listing to a human juke box, and weather they know it or not, it effects the party promoter because people didnt enjoy the party so they stop coming back.

I want to open up this discussion to you and the entire djservicepack.com community in the comments below. So who is to blame, The Undercutting DJ or the Promoters who hire the Undercutting DJ? 

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Your Reaction
  • #TheVanillaMochaMix
      0

    I put all the blame on the promoter. You get what you pay for; if you’re not willing to pay a little extra for a solid DJ because someone offered “a lower price”, and that DJ basically bombs, then your reputation as a promoter is nonexistent at that point.

  • DJ Hypnotiq
      0

    My Opinion I think since I think the DJ is the Forefront of Hip-Hop, I believe WE are responsible for our own demise. we are the ones setting the standard. I just dont get why would any DJ want to get paid 40$ for a gig or show? what can that 40$ do for you except put gas in your car that you wasted to get to the spot anyway….As for me I never DJ for no less than 500$ if I miss out on a gig because they dont wanna pay that amount, SO BE IT…I rather stay home then to alter my integrity. I been djin for over 10 years and I have earned my worth and place in this DJ Community and if a promoter can’t accept that…OH WELL!!!!

  • DJ SOL-LID
      0

    THAT HAPPEN TO ME ALREADY :-HAD TO PLAY AT A WEDDING CHARGE $240 US DOLLARS UPON LOOK AT THE PLACE THE DAY B4 THE WEDDING START GETTING MY EQUIPMENT TOGETHER LATER ON THAT DAY ONLY TO HEAR THE WEDDING PLANNER CALL ME AND SAID SHE GET SOMEONE ELSE ON A CHEAPER PRICE GUESS HOW MUCH $150 US. IF I COULD ONLY FIND THIS NIGGA AND SHAKE HIS HANDS AND TELL HIM WHAT A “DOUCHEBAG” HE IS.

  • DJ SOL-LID
      0

    REALTALK—->DJ HYNOTIQ SOME DJ’S DONT SET STANDARD FOR THEM SELF. THEY NEED TO READ THE BOOK—-> “DJING FOR DUMMIES” TELLS YOU HOW TO GO ABOUT DJ LIFE AND WHAT TO DO AND NOT TO DO.

  • DaTruth
      0

    I put the blame on the novice dumb ass dj. The promoters are trying to save money, but if there was never a $40 dj around to begin with then there would never be this problem. These new untalented human jukebox djs that have no skills (they think they do but they don’t) just want to be seen. They don’t understand that this is a business. Not something to gain fame from. Dumb Fucks

    • 0

    BEST . ARTICLE . EVER

  • Guest

    me 2

    • 0

    When I started djiing in parties for the first time at age 15, I didnt know how much I was getting paid but during that time I didnt really care because it was my first time experiencing parties & doing whatever so till this day, I make sure they pay me the amount of money they suppose to & before i even start the setting up. “40$” just so you can get in to dj seems wack to me tobehonest. never ever in my mind thought of doing that for myself.

  • same here

  • Big DJ Moan
      0

    I blame technology. Any cat with a laptop and downloads feels that he can live his dream of being a DJ. The good news is, eventually the market will become so watered down that these undercuttin’ ass bish’s will stop making a dime and just drop out of the game. At that point, the stock in real DJ’s will go up and we’ll begin to start getting paid again. In the mean time, we just gotta build our individual brands up and start getting this money in as many venues as we can. Until that day comes, next time you lose a gig to a $40 DJ, you should still go to the gig and throw water on his equipment. That will make his ass retire a little faster!

  • ΙΦΘ Specialist

    technology does play a part but at the same time i think if DJ’s where displayed more where the good dj’s actually are known for there skills and can rock the crowd then this crap wouldnt happen but til promoters start looking at Dj’s that have a following, can rock a crowd, and also be business professional then these low ball will keep happening

  • Craig Mangrum
      0

    Combination of both, But MAJORITY is our fault as the DJ’s ….Your only as good as your weakest link…So instead of takING the new DJs under OUR wings and teaching the craft and the ropes of the business, we’ll shut em out and let them learn on their own, which means they just going to under cut the next DJ which messes the DJ Market Up, I teach every DJ around me everything I know, If I increase the quality AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE BUSINESS FOR THE NEW DJS out here, the price tag can only go up.

  • B Brian Crawford

    always get a contract and a non refundable deposit with weddings and other events, that way you at least get SOME money

  • Dj Ham
      0

    It’s both, I had a gig where they told me, “well we know you keep the party jumping, but Dj such an such only charge $75”. I said, “well I can’t go that low cause that wont even pay for my mixer if it go out, let a long all the other equipment that I bring an the gas for my van”. So I went to the event just to see how dude rock, mann I thought I was at a preschool party, an the people who know me from dj’in there asked me why I wasn’t Dj’in that night? so I gave my fans 30mins of my free time on his equipment just to show the promoter what he missed out on. Now he calling my phone trying to get me to be the house dj. ( GET YO MONEY UP BRO!!!!!!!!)

  • CJ Tha Sticman
      0

    When It Comes To Booking Gigs , You have to Protect Yourself Aganst Shopping Promoters & Undercutting Dj’s. The best protections are CONTRACTS & DEPOSITS (NON-REFUNDABLE) …..
    That Contract Lets the Promoter know you are serious about the event and most importantly your pay. The Deposit Stops the promoters shopping around or Canceling the event . i Once had a customer that canceled her event and she had written me a check for the deposit . She wanted a refund, i told her look at her contract. She did a stop pay on the check….. Ok Cool. After she received a letter from my attorney stating we were about to sue for 20 times that amount another check was sent , along with all the bank fees and my attorneys fee. I play about a lot of things but money isn’t one of them…..

  • DJ Gotti
      0

    Man this touched a part of me. Me and my brother are both DJs that understand and STRESS everything you preached in this article. We are also in the ENT business and we both understand that without a DJ, there is no party and although you can accept this 40$ guy to do your gig, you wont be able to do another gig and still have a respectful name in the business.

  • N € £ £™©
      0

    The undercutting award goes to the DJ on this one. I feel as though its OKAY S O M E T I M E S to “look out” for a person who is booking you and you know them but looking out doesnt mean get paid like 50-100. That is a insult to yourself as well as the game. Cuz if you look at it, they dont “look out” and help you setup OR breakdown. OR they dont help you be creative and spin all night for however long the gig is. However as the article stated, most people do that to get they foot in the door. Thats kool and all but still you gotta respect the game. Have a price where if something gets messed up you can replace SOMETHING with. 50-100 will honestly only get you a needle …IF THAT. So this award has to go to the DJ because some DJ’s play the gullible role and buy the shit the promoter selling. Sadly. s/o to DJSP for this post!

  • IG: KingSilini
      0

    I don’t blame the promoter, nor do I blame the DJ. I blame the customer that is willing to pay a promoter money to be entertained by a $40 DJ. Every market is driven by consumers, and once people stop going for the bullshit, then you stop seeing lame promoters and whack DJs. Today’s customer’s pay these promoters money just to stand in a club looking at pictures on instagram and facebook hoping that the photographer comes around to take a picture just to say that they “Shot a movie”.

  • j. c.

    you said it BEST right here homie!!!!

  • djking james
      0

    Undercutting has gotten us to where clubs , promoters & people are telling us what they wanna pay us ! Really ??? and the computer age got people thinking they Dj’s now …. SMH!

    If you aint never carried vinyl , touched a turntable ” MOVE B**TCH ! GET OUT THE WAY! ”

    And these new cornball ass promoters who’s always about themselves …. leave them be !

    These new wanna be dj’s only know music not even from a year ago . They don’t CRATE DIG , STUDY MUSIC HISTORY , KNOW HOW TO BLEND , OR EVEN KNOW THE HIP HOP ORIGIN ! BRAINWASHED BY POP CULTURE TODAY ! Ask most of these new Dj’s to play you some Aretha , GrandmasterFlash , Melle Mel , Dana Dane , Pete Rock , Gangstarr …. They’d look at you like you from another planet. WE AS REAL DJ’S WHO DO THIS NEED TO START A WORLDWIDE CAMPAIGNE AND TAKE THE GAME BACK TOTALLY ,INCLUDING RAPPERS WHO MAKE BULLSHIT RECORDS …. HERES TODAY , FONE TOMORROW RECORDS. One hit wonders at least created a memorable record hate it or love that you can still conversate about today. Same topic records …. DRUGS , SEX , B**TCHES , $$$ , CARS , IN THE CLUB AND THAT’S IT . Where’s the art ? Its still here but the culture is too DUMBED DOWN to listen to a TALIB KWELI , FOREIGN EXCHANGE , O.C. , APOLLO BROWN , KEV BROWN album or single. I understand change ….. but I never thought I’d see the day when N.Y. would be followers!

  • CJ Tha Sticman

    it wasn’t the money ….. it was the principal….

  • CJ Tha Sticman

    EXACTLY!!

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  • DjBlackc Caesar
      0

    $40? I pay my helper $50 a night for setting up. This whole undercutting thing has blame to be placed all over. My stand on this is if I get replaced by a cheaper Dj then the promoter was booking me for all the wrong reasons or I didnt live up to my name on the last event I did for that promoter. Im at the point where most of my calls are about availability not price. I’d say handle your business, have some showmanship and do something in your sets that makes the promoter say I’d rather pay more for this Dj because of the entertainment value. If the promoter still goes with the cheaper Dj he is doing you a favor.

  • DJ M.WHITE
      0

    THIS POST EVOKE A RESPONSE FROM ME BECAUSE THIS SHIT HAPPENED TO ME TWO WEEKS AGO, AND HAS SEEMINGLY BEEN HAPPENING MORE AND MORE OVER THE PAST 3 YEARS. IT’S CRAZY HOW A PROMOTER COULD GIVE 2 FUX ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THEIR DJ BUT INSTEAD WILL PAY A STRICTLY LAPTOP DJ OR “HUMAN JUKE BOX”, AS YOU PUT IT, TO SPIN A PARTY. I’VE ALWAYS STOOD MY GROUND AS A JOCK NOT ONLY BECAUSE I LOVE THE HIP-HOP FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF DJING, OR BECAUSE I HAVE 20,000+ DOWNLOADS/STREAMS ONLINE, BUT BECAUSE I CARE ENOUGH TO PROVIDE A QUALITY EXPERIENCE FOR THE CONSUMERS. IN RECENT YEARS IT SEEMS AS THOUGH PROMOTERS HAVE HELPED WHACK JOCKS CREATE A CULTURE WHERE IT’S ALMOST EXPECTED FOR DJS TO CHARGE DIRT PRICES ($50/ $150/ $175) FOR A FULL NIGHT! SHIT’S RIDICULOUS. AS YOU CAN SEE, I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT AS A RECENT VICTIM WHO RESPECTS THE CRAFT X SETS OUT TO SPIN LIKE IT’S 1999 EVERYTIME I ROCK. I ENCOURAGE OTHER DJS TO STAND THEIR GROUND, HOLDFAST TO YOUR REASONABLE RATES AND CONTINUE TO PROVIDE QUALITY EXPERIENCES FOR THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE WHAT YOU DO X CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT. REGARDLESS, THE SAME HOLDS TRUE “IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT, GET M.WHITE” !

    – DJ M.WHITE
    TWITTER @MRMORETHANADJ
    INSTAGRAM @DJMWHITE

  • Worldwide DJ TakTixX
      0

    I blame the crowds for not demanding more for entertainment.

    Most people want to (and are used to) go to the club and hear the same 40 songs the radio plays all day long. Whatever happened to records getting broken in the club?

    As long as people keep getting mediocre, cookie cutter entertainment, they accept it (the same way a wack song grows on us)

    DJ’s are scared. alot of them sell out. They dont want to loose the crowd or the gig to the next wack DJ who will do as he is told.

    The middleman (promoter) to me is nothin more than a glorified hypeman that you dont see. Meanwhile, getting overcompensated (sometimes more $$ than the dj) for merely doing a lil social marketing.

    So when people pay $20 to go to a club, and they hear the same shit that they are used to that is what they will expect.

    Until someone steps up with originality and really entertain people (differently) when they go to a club, things will always stay the same. At the same time, people have to be receptive to a new experience. Its what we make it.

    With all this said, this is why the $40 DJ can live. All he has to do is borrow someones laptop, or tablet, load it up with someone elses mixsets or songs, plug in, grab a mic and pretend like he’s doin something. Any asshole can do that. Especially if he’s broke and looking to come up. Culture? His culture is paying that water bill. Fuck a DJ culture.

    All the promoter and owner sees is dollar signs. They know its not about how the songs are played, just as long as the songs are played and people are going to the bar and spending money.

    The people dont DEMAND much more than what they already get. If the DJ can or cannot mix, IT DONT MATTER. Cant scratch? Blend? No turntables? No CDJ’s? SO WHAT. Play all the songs that these drunk dummies wanna hear and you good.

    I dont have a solution to the problem but i do see whats up. I can only guess that somehow, someday, things will change.

  • The Party Prince
      0

    i know for a fact that michigan promoters can walk out with 10k to 25k for your run of the mil party a club in one of the major cities.. they split that between 3 or 4 people… they’ll spend 300 on bottle service for the night.. theyll pay a pretty chick with an annoying voice 500 to “host the party” but they have an issue paying a dj more than 300.. its like an insult to them to ask for that or more. Its really time for DJs to take the party game back. Good Djs sit to the side while these wack laptop djs do gigs for 100 bucks.. punk ass scabs is what these wanna be djs are.

  • jack
      0

    If a promoter can do a good party with a $40 dj then good for him but I blame the fans if they support bad djs. also by your logic – If you feel like you’re going to lose a gig if you charge more, PRACTICE MORE. Get it to the point to where no matter what price you put out there, you will be paid. – they should have still booked you, maybe you are not worth what you are charging.

  • DJ JOHNNY STORM

    imma dj in detroit and damn that was real…

  • 2_Live_Q
      0

    Well I understand how you can blame the promoter but as a DJ in college, there is a lot of money to be made if you are willing to sacrifice. I personally have under cut competition, not as an attempt to get a gig, but to break into the scene of the new school I had transferred into. I had to create and opportunity to shine and I did. I tried to be an honest DJ and businessman, however due to the 3 DJ’s on campus (which means plenty of gigs for everyone) creating blocking anyone else from DJ’ing i was forced to. Otherwise I would still be a bedroom DJ at my apartment with the skills and experience better than the ones at every gig on campus… *shrugs*

  • Djogsmoove Green
      0

    The best thing to do is put it on paper ( Contract ) and only deal with Cash for deposit to hold the date, and remainder pay by cash or credit card

  • DJ Yagga™

    I completely agree. Some of the cats I look up to on the Radio or in the mega club scenes are down right SCARED, especially when a young brother like me with Sharp skills ask them to school me on the biz side of things…they’re worried about their bread lol

  • Mystachoo.US
      0

    Can’t blame the promoter (its about business at the cheapest rate to get the maximum net.
    I blame dj’s for not understanding the purpose of unity. If we don’t stick together of course we will be exploited. Nashville Tenn has the best example of a complete DJ Alliance.

  • DjQuam AKande
      0

    I’m totally against taking Djs under my wing, by doing this you expose them to your network, which results in the loss of DJ gigs by giving the customers an alternative, especially when it comes to your price . At the end of the day this is business and there are janky promoters, who will hire the cheapest DJ regardless of quality. I have definitely put in work for my DJ career and will continue to do so. I respect the DJs who came before me and good luck to the rookies, but When it comes to my money and well being, I could really care less about the next Dj.

  • DJ BLAZE
      0

    This is a NEVER ENDING TOPIC. I honestly blame THE DJ’s most of all. As a business man, keeping OVERHEAD LOW & MAKING THE MOST PROFIT is all they care about & I can’t blame them. It’s what they do. But these DJ’s?!?!?!? They need to be verified. Now a days any fool who puts DJ in front of there name is taken serious. Promoters don’t check what they’ve done, where they’ve been, or who they have done business with in the past. With DJ equipment being created into basically toys now, music easily accessible, & the ART of DJ’ing being devalued, these “PLAY PLAY” DJ’s are making it harder & harder for “REAL” DJ’s to EAT. What it’s going to take is for these “REAL” DJ’s to come back out the shadows and start taking it to these DJ’s who treat this as a GAME. Put them on the spot & make them prove their WORTH. I call DJ’s out who I feel have no MERIT on the REGULAR. For the most part once they see my SETUP they are already backing down…. & for the ones that continuously talk, they get eating alive doing my show & end up disappearing. BOTTOM LINE, it’s up to us “REAL” DJ’s to TAKE BACK our industry & EXPOSE those who are destroying it. I refuse to let anybody take MY MONEY out my pocket. That’s just like stealing from me so IT’S A MUST THAT YOU ARE DEALT WITH PROMPTLY.

  • DJ BLAZE

    #SideNote If anybody ever offer me $40 to DJ not only will you be laughed at hysterically but I will MOST LIKELY HANG UP IN YOUR FACE….

  • DjJeanuwine
      0

    I consider myself to be an International DJ.. Haitian Background, American Born Miami Orlando FL native .. Therefore I have DJ’d for every culture out there from Haitians to the Red Necks and everything in between.. I always thought about quitting because of this generation of free Virtual DJs who would DJ for a little fame, but can’t afford to take their groupies to the Waffle house after their gigs.. But the Club owners and Promoters usually come to their senses after repairing their damaged equipment every week.. Nowadays we as DJs have to do a lot of convincing. Convince the Club owner to protect their equipment, Convince the Promoter to Keep their crowd and their positions in the clubs. Also convince the Cheap DJ to have some self respect and respect for the Pioneers…

  • DjJeanuwine

    I’d tell them yes, and never show up.. When they finally get in touch with me.. I’d say I got an offer of 250 just to play 2 tracks at another club.. Sometimes you gotta make them feel real cheap..

  • DjJeanuwine

    I took many DJs under my wing. Even DJs who were in the game before me.. I guarantee you every single one of them step on my toes and messed me up big time in the later future.. When things went bad they came back as if they didn’t betray my trust

  • DJ Mo Phatt
      0

    I preach this on a weekly. The DJ is the main blame as we don’t school these younger cats on the game and not to settle. The promoter only wants to save money and seldom care about the long term affects on a cheap DJ.

  • djteetee225
      0

    I love this article, undercutting another DJ just to get a gig don’t seem right at all.

  • dancefa_eva

    Nashville TN is full of competition among DJs, but one thing I can say, if I need a DJ’s help, they got me! I was DJing a college party and DJ Big Red was there. He has more experience than I do with big crowds and DJing college events, so while I was DJing, he gave me advice on how to improve my skill. DJs forming an alliance work out for the best!

  • DJ 3 Stax
      0

    Become the promoter & dj ….make & graphic your own flyers….. FIND A Building and do your own thg..I BLAME the new technology ..lap tops and free music download.. laptops have taking over the dj game.. my grandmother & 3 year old be playing music off thy phone and laptop…from now on don’t just say u a dj… be the promoter dj flyer graphic and all.. i even pay for the security for tht night

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