Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When A DJ Used To Matter?!



I've got to go in right now and get this ish off my chest because I'm pissed. Yeah you can call me grumpy old man if you wish or feel that way, but the bottom line is that I'm just speaking the truth and calling it how I see it. You have a right to disagree if you choose to. There was a time when the DJ used to matter. When a dj was a dj. Not a popularity contest. Serato is the devil. It has completely ruined the art and the game of our culture. New jacks will not understand this. I even had a friend of mine say that Serato was gods gift to djs. Really? Sorry, RANE. I love you guys and you take care of me and have for years but just a few short years ago djs had to actually have the record to play the song. Not the MP3. With the creation of Serato, djs have popped up in droves. EVERYONE is a dj now. I'm not hating on anyone for wanting to dj. However, dj to really dj. This jack ass told me the other day he wanted to be a dj because they get all the girls. Wow! This same cat plays for close to nothing just to play. Not to mention he sucks. The worst part about it is NO ONE really cares. Crowds still come to the venues and as long as he plays the "Hit" song of the week it's all good. Forget mixing. Forget creating a vibe. Forget everything that Larry Levan and Walter Gibbons worked towards. The art is close to being extinct. DJs used to matter. Not so much these days. To top it off EVERYTHING is politics. This is the only job that I know of where your work history and resume stands for absolutely nothing. A big fat huge zero. New jack johnny come lately promoters don't know the history or do the math to figure this out. They hire the guy that is the cheapest. News flash!!! That usually equals the weakest. You usually get what you pay for. I understand the business side from the club owner. They just want a crowd that will spend at that bar. Therefore if you got a playboy playmate deejaying half naked its going to draw a crowd. I get it. I'm just saying that a few short years ago you actually had to have some skills and be half way good. The game fucking sucks now days. It just does. Tons of no name wack djs playing and touring. Tons of LEGENDS not. Before you think I'm being a hater let's clear it up that I'm clearly not. I get mine and have been for years. I'm just talking about the state of the game and where we are at with it in 09'. It's so funny that I can go out of the country and rock a huge party and come home to have the local club hire a beginner because I'm affiliated with a certain promo co. I'm a dj for hire. I rock parties. That's what I do. I'm not bound and have no contracts to any promotion team or companies. I'm my own walking corporation. So f-ing what if I deejayed for another club or another promoter? Who gives a crap? The politics of this game at home in my city of Seattle absolutely suck. Like my man said it's complete high school hateration at best. Well, I have news for you club management jerks. Your NOT the only club on the planet. I don't have to play there. Now or ever. When your nights suck and no one is coming and your dumb ass is sitting there wondering why? You still haven't figured it out. It just might be because the dj matters? It's actually a good start for your night club. Kind of like good food at a restaurant! Another good thing is a quality working sound system. I could go on for days but I'm done with my rant for now. Until then I will be and continue playing in dope ass top quality venues around the nation. Middle finger goes out to half the local clubs in town & a few of the promoters. Not because they won't or don't fuck with me because all of them have. Because they so well deserve it for being such idiots.

9 comments:

Flex said...

Supreme much respect.. I agree wholeheartedly but I feel like the bottom line is that radio is to blame. All people want to hear is what the clear channel, Mtv, and BET stations play. If you deviate from that and play even one song that they're not familiar with you'll lose 3/4ths of the crowd and you have to build the momentum back up by playing more radio shit. Some of that shit is cool and even the most mindless of songs still have a place in the party but when you can't even play one song to break some new shit or an old cut that doesn't get much burn? So sad. I spent too many years trying to support so called "underground" hip hop and hold it down for my city and all it ever got me was props and "respect" but those same people that gave me dap never came to my nights. Fuck respect cut the damn check. I just want to work so I'ma do whatever to do it and if someone wants to book me to play the music I like they can get at me. Until then radio shit all day... Oh yeah and most females only like radio shit and the younger they are the worse it gets. And if they're older and like good music? They won't go to the club they'll wait till a concert rolls into town and go out.
I'm so heated thinking about this..FUCK!!! Much respect....

Lucas said...

Real ish, fam. I completely agree and Flex has a good point too. Of course, unless I know the promoter or am a reg @ club, they don't care about my opinion, but I thought the whole point of a club was to showcase talented DJs that get the crowd going. If I wanted garbage, I'd turn on the radio. And something else I've noticed is some new jacks steal other DJs mixes and pass them off like they're doing it live. What part of the game is that?

Santa Muerte said...

i can dig it (unlike most dj's now-a-days. get it?!) ahaha but anyway it's to the point now where i'm surprised when i find out a dj is spinning records and 45's. they have a punk and reggae night down here at a bar/club named la cita and the dj's there have serato because i can see the shit on their macbook pros, but they also spin records. one night not a macbook in sight and i was shocked!

it's kind of like in the film industry how a lot of directors shoot digital instead of on film, and not many editors use the cutting room anymore they use final cut or the industry standard. i think the extinction of the dj has to do more with rapid expansion in technology than anything and plus people download 9 billion songs a year illegally making being a dj a pretty good gig if you have the right music downloading program and a gigabyte or two.

mike gaff said...

preme I feel you, I do see this, I commented recently that there used to be a kind of quiz to test another dj if they didn't produce and make their statement through sampling; Mention some good breaks, if they know and have skills, it meant they were not only a real DJ that was popular, but also cared and continued the culture in a traditional sense. Now, alot of trend dj's have only hardrives and mac pro's. they care not for records. OR the culture, often times, they don't care about skillz, mixing, scratching, and want to get theirs, and play only poplular music. but haven't "major clubs and lesser clubs" always booked those kind of dj's? only the current, and past RADIO hits?
Alot of new promoters and club owners did not grow up seeing the Legends of hip hop culture in their prime. Really good, sample based music, is not very prominant in mainstream culture. most music is made on computers, which is not necessarily a bad thing, I can't COUNT how many great producers have made banging beats off their laptops waiting in the airport lately, still using real samples stored on their laptops as mp3's and wav's. I know this because they say so. it is much easier to have your sampler/sequencer built into your laptop. There are a few Dj's that really stand out using serato, things like 'instant doubles' is a HUGE gift to Dj's, think how many breaks you have, that you always wanted to double up, but not have doubles of, play out, but not bring the record out because it's raer.
I remember Premier saying that a dj should have a certain amount of records before acquiring serato, but hasn't that always really only determined the respect or admiriation of other DJ's/producers and not the masses themselves (shadow/cutchemist excluded)
The type of Scene in each city, where a DJ can go play REALLY GOOD music, and people will dance to, is not necessarily the people/crowd that are INTO music, but that just like the atmosphere and party, and know a good dj when they see one, AND A GOOD LOCAL DJ HAS TO BUILD THAT SCENE IN EACH CITY, hopefully to bring people like yourself, and others too, contribute culture to each of their scenes, and keep the legends paying their mortgage and families as age inevitably advances.
There is power in numbers, and while I haven't played the US yet, I have played across canada in each major city, and often times, it always comes down to the DJ/PROMOTER/CLUB owner themselves in each spot, that at least if one of them believes and contributes to real DJ/HIP-HOP/Dance culture, it lives on, and always will fluctuate, and always be a demand relative to their level of influence. it sounds like while seattle itself may have a drop, it'll pick up again, it always fluctuates, and has since the 50's, 60's for music (from an outside perspective of course) gaff

Dj D'Lemma said...

Amen bro. I feel your pain. I'm always on a rant about the same subject, and it's not even about me when I go on a rant. It's about the true dj's that had to earn their keep. We that used to carry 10 crates to do a show and know how to read and rock a party should get some credit, but to new jack promoters, nothing matters but girls and money. You have earned a lot of respect amongst your peers Danny, but have none from Promoters.... Only because promoters will hire their cousin for $50.

Ben said...

I can't really talk too much, since i don't go out often. But, i agree that when i do, it is the same old music, night after night. The same music that's played on the radio hourly. And that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that there is little craftsmanship or pride taken in the dj's trade. There is little creativity and forethought put into the mix and song selection. People go from fast to slow tempo without even thinking, go from party song to serious song, go from genre to genre, and the feel and flow of the night is thrown off. One of the last times i was out, the dj put on BBD's 'Poison' (I know it's played out now--again!), but started the song at the beginning of the 12" mix, about 2 minutes before any words really come in. People were excited to hear the song, but by the time the words came in, people were leaving the dancefloor to get another Bud Light. I can definitely tell when locals like B-Mello, Supreme, Soul, Riz, or some of the other greats in town are on the wheels, without even seeing the dj booth. When they are, the mixing is seamless, they show their individual style via blends, remixes, or effects, and they understand the effects that the music's feel, tempo, and theme will have on the crowds. It's no comparison.

Nightclubber Lang said...

That's the truth preme...here in the Bay there are a million toy ass DJ's..you can't even have a discussion about music with these guys. They got into it for the wrong reason - to look cool, or to fit in. I have no respect for these guys, and I tend to let them know.

Leigh Feldman said...

doesn't your manager manage tamara sky?

ol' dirty record sleeves said...

You said it,to many busters with mac books who get gigs and no street credit. Real heads keep diggin'.