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Real Dj’s Speak With Their Hands, Not Their Mouth

The Lost Art Of The Dj Pt. 3 – Real Dj’s Speak With Their Hands, Not Their Mouths By @1DjTnt

“’ve made the same mistake politician’s have-talkin’ all that jazz..”-daddy o,stestasonic

Lost_ArtDJBefore Hip Hop, I remember hearing the old school DJs on the radio and occasionally on cassette & they were more like radio personalities than disc jockeys; They talked slick shit in between the songs they played. They never stepped outside of the cool demeanors that alot of times denoted their DJ names. Even the DJs at the skating rinks ran their mouthes so smooth & so cool, as you grabbed a girl’s ass on the slow skate. Hip Hop changed all that.

Hip Hop back in the day had defined roles. The elements of Hip Hop are DJs, MCs, Breakdancing & Graffiti. Each was considered a position of authority. The DJs in my opinion, were the cornerstone of this shit. They laid the sound down. All the pioneering DJs of Hip Hop [Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa & Grand Master Flash] had MCs. The MC was responsible for mic controlling. Most of the popular MCs ran their mouthes at the right time, adding their own original catch phrases and the popular slang to punctuate what the DJ was doing, which later evolved into the MCs making records. Club DJs were required to make announcements like  “No drinks on the dance floor”, announcing if someone of prominence was “in the house” or “security to the vip section” after witnessing a fight break out. Other than that, you never heard the DJ on the mic..besides, he was too busy showcasing skills to have time to MC.

In “The New Reality”, most of these so call DJs feel the need to not only MC while “djing” [along with the MC mind you] but they are talking entirely too much! The talking, singing along to the lyrics, growling, screaming, yelling & lame commands [“let’s go”, “turn up”, or whatever the new phrase of the month is, ect] are being done, [in alot of cases], along with stopping the music & pushing effects buttons, to hide the lack of skills. I can’t think of any of my favorite DJs spending the same amount of time or more on the mic, than on the wheels. Now maybe a lot of this comes from the strip club “dj’s” emergence playing a pivotal [& most of the time, overhyped] role in “breaking music” & the way they do that. There is a big difference tho between deejaying in a strip club & deejaying a club or venue.

Knowing how to sing along to a rapper’s lyrics, or chanting along with the hook, in my opinion, makes you a karaoke bar hostess mane, not a DJ.

More than anything, the DJ that’s active (showing he has the ability to transition seamlessly by mixing & blending, with cutting & artistscratching as the only effects), can make the crowd sing along & react as that DJ sees fit. If the DJ is holding it down, he won’t want or need a mic and if he really gets down, an MC who doesn’t know how & when to speak, could be a hindrance to a REAL DJ. I believe the artist’s work being played is what the people want to hear, and the way the sound is laid is why the DJ is getting paid right?  Now don’t think I am totally against speaking on the mic..but as a REAL DJ, you should be speaking with YOUR HANDS. I don’t have a problem with drops with the DJ’s name being blasted out, but not every damn song. I am a firm believer if you are rocking, those who feel you will let it be known. Crowds now a days are starved for REAL DJs so much so they will come to you and ask for a card, ask if you have mix cds for sale, ask if you do private parties, buy you drinks..In fact, some of the coolest acknowledgements I have received were dudes coming to give me dap as I blended or mixed a couple songs up they liked or at the end of the night,  just making me know, to them, I did that. And I promise you reader, it certainly wasn’t cuz I was dancing around yelling in the mic, cuz I DON’T do that. I’m fond of saying I get people who feel me as a DJ the old fashioned way-I earn it. One person at a time. I don’t think a mic is needed for that type of respect. I know some of you new jack swingers will rebut that you are showcasing your personalities but don’t you think your song selections & skills in transitioning will showcase those same personality traits even more?

Also a REAL DJ to me, if he needs/wants an MC, should use the same one or two for all his gigs. In this new reality, the promoter just gives you an MC & expects magic. It makes things so much smoother when there’s chemistry between the DJ & the MC. Continuity can’t just be slapped together. The DJ is laying the sound right?  The MC has to get in where he fits in, NOT the other way around. The MC should NEVER be talking during a transition & he should know the areas of a song where he can get in some talking without disrupting the artists vocals or if the DJ cuts up a section, how to accentuate what he is doing. A REAL DJ doesn’t have to speak..he will for lack of a better term “educate” his MC to do all the speaking necessary. That is the responsibility of the DJ & the MC’s responsibility is to ask if he doesn’t know when the time is right, so the DJ doesn’t have to cut his mic off.

Do you think a DJ should also be an MC/hypeman on the mic too? Do you think it adds value or takes away from the job of deejaying?  What are some of the things a DJ in your opinion can teach an MC to be effective during that DJ’s set?


I appreciate all the responses on twitter & those who commented on the previous blogs. We definitely want you to leave responses cuz the discussions don’t have to end. Check back & reread other members of the community’s comments. Each one teach one.

More Articles From Dj TNT

– The Lost Art Of The Dj pt. 1

The Lost Art Of The Dj pt. 2 – Real Dj’s were bred to be solid



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Your Reaction
    • 0

    just skimmed through this article, your articles be mad long, i’ll read it in its entirety later…

    but i was in the club last wednesday, and there was a host and you had 3 other DJs…..

    mind you, all the DJs accept one could host the party…. but the host and the other 2 DJs clashed… DJ ended up shutting the hosts mic off….

    • 0

    Its true, I agree, gets annoying when most dj’s always have that “shit talking” during the mix, hear that too much on radios. & sometimes dj’s could take over “only’ if there aint no one to cover. but most dj’s should talk but only necessary, I don’t talk at all unless to get the crowd very hyped & I just do what I have to do when I’m on the turntables. with me less talking & more mixing.

    • 0

    I agree but also disagree with this article. I feel that yes a DJ also aspiring to be their own “hype man” has somewhat subtracted from what is actually done on the decks. While entertaining the crowd is the main focus, because of technology and the EDM trend of silent fist pumping djs, there has been less emphasis on the transitions, mixing, cutting etc that real hip hop djs do. Everyone thinks its easy and doesn’t really care, they just want to hear good music. Therefore, i feel like to actually rock a crowd a DJ must be able to have some type of mic game, because it definitely enhances the djs performance and individually distinguishes them and their personality. It can help you introduce songs, create moods and motivate the crowd to do certain things. But if this is done unsuccessfully like you said with the “lets go” “turn up” blah blah blah constantly……yes that can get very repetitive and annoying and you would probably need an MC. But otherwise I see it as beneficial and necessary for DJs in this time period to be able to have a mouth piece on the mic.

    – @DJCamouflage
    Follow Me on Twitter!
    KY 502 -> VA 757

    • 0

    Okay, now that Ive read through it entirely

    To start off, I gotta go with DJ Camoflauge on this one, in todays music industry majority of the DJs talk on the mic. For me it connects the crowd and the DJ in a weird type of way. My only issue with that, is when its done on a mix tape. I hate trying to download a song and a DJ is all over it screaming

    I like voicing myself at times through the party, giving shootouts, getting the crowd into and riled up. I love it, I would never OD on it though because that would kill the vibe. I do however feel that when you say a “real DJ” you might be slightly mistaken. Majority of the DJs I know that are successful can woo a crowd with not only their skills on the mic but the skills in the mix. These DJs have been featured on BET, MTV, VH1, have toured. So with that being said “real DJs”, have the ability to mc as well.

  • valid points & I agree: in “The New Reality” since there is less emphasis on the actual skill level, “djs” have upped their talk game to where it is expected to be done, cuz everyone else does it. In my opinion, quick words here & there is one thing.. more talking than mixing is another.

  • “..with me less talking & more mixing.” I am the same way.

    • 0

    You are right in some instance where the DJ was subjected to “Security to VIP” or “No drinks on the dance floor” or better yet….”Last call for alcohol” LOL. Seriously coming from a DJ/MC breed, I started out DJing went to the MC side and back to DJing. Now for me, the MC side is pertinent if you are wanting to connect with that crowd. Any DJ who is going to go that extra mile is going to want to connect. Personally all of them stare too much at the laptop and not enough attention to the crowd.
    For me, I need that connection, but not to the point that I am talking all night…that is ludicrousness. Diarhea of the mouth is never a good look.
    A good DJ knows when to play, and when to say….anything else is

  • yeah if you something happens to that computer & they can’t see the bpm & the waveforms..tragic.

    • 0

    I do both strip clubs and venues and before i put it out there this is 2013 basily times change and the art is changing. Its part of my personality, i love speaking and hypeing up the crowd on the mic. i have no problem blending or mixing in tracks while engaging my audience i have to admit tho there is a limit i can agree with you on that. a dj should know when to just dj and put the mic down. But Now a days it just adds to your skill set. its kinda boring to me to just here music a hype man is always good even if its just he dj.

  • yeaa man. i cant talk every sec in the club & if i was on radio which i want to be in a few yrs, i wouldnt talk as much as the ones is right now on radio. & like they always say “Talk is cheap”

  • I like how Kid Capri rocks on the mic while deejaying, Dude spits short bursts of shit to punctuate what he’s doing. If you are referring to doing it like that, I mean we ALL know KC is REAL DJ..I think it becomes a problem when a “dj” is more concerned with his talk game instead of his deejay skills. Relying on the mic swag as opposed to the substance of the music he is playing & the skills he is showcasing while deejaying. Just because times change, why does the art form have to?? All the more reason to keep it within it’s essence as much as possible, while incorporating new technologies.

    • 0

    Personally…a Dj who does NOT talk at all is BOOOOOOOORING! Especially if his transitions, song selection and mixing skills are booty. Look, I come from the era of wax, crates, and needles but to think that NOT talking to the crowd is some sort of evil that does a disservice to the listeners is wrong IMO. Nor is it not advancing the Dj culture. Every DJ has his/her own style and talking to the crowd i believe is a good one. BUT don’t talk too much…..just enough to have the crowd WITH you because me and the crowd are one. Me and the crowd are in that party TOGETHER.

    • 0

    BTW, i love the articles, comments and the dialogue that they produce…KEEP IT UP!!

  • Part of the reason why i DON’T use Serato or a laptop..

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  • I agree with you that the DJ & the crowd are in it together, however Talking on the mic, in my opinion, whether a little bit or all night, is not “some sort of evil” nor do I believe it is advancing the DJ culture. I consider it MCing. And I may need to post a blog differentiating what I consider old school from one who got into deejaying right before technology changed, cuz there is a difference I believe.

  • DjHop21

    This is true to some extent but I def. agree with Camouflage…the game has changed and sometimes rockin the mic also is necessary

  • DJ Kee

    I Say Bull shit!!! 8 tracks to Cds to Mp3s I say this again and again the equipment do not and will not make you a REAL DJ! its the soul of the music that flows to the people in the crowd.. the right of passage??? what world do you live in…. carrying a box or a crate for another dj was just work and thats all it was… I carried 1 bag for a DJ that I learn from.. I did not and don’t have to carry 20 bags to learn my craft nor lug around turntables it will be cool to learn the accent art of Scratching at home cause people today.. in the clubs I play don’t want to hear that shit…. all I need is my music= soul to create the art of making people have fun and bust a move to all I play.. PS.. I met Kool Herc spoke to him for 1hr and I asked Him what do you think of hiphop today… you know what he said? “I don’t listen to that bullshit!” and thats what I feel about a Dj saying ohhh to be a real Dj you gotta have turntables… move on!!!!!!