• The Samples Behind Big L’s ‘The Big Picture’

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    Power 106‘s Wax Only series has dropped a new episode, this time to review the samples from Big L’s second and final studio album, The Big Picture.

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It is hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    The Big Picture was scheduled to be released in 1999, but Big L was gunned down on February 15 of that year. It was instead released posthumously on August 1, 2000. The 24-year-old New York native had been recording it at the time of his death.

    The album debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. It sold over 72,000 copies in its first week and was certified gold three months later.

    The Big Picture featured the popular singles “Ebonics,” “Size ‘Em Up,” and “Flamboyant.” It was produced by several hip-hop legends, including DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, and Pete Rock.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples from the album.

    Related: The Samples Behind Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’

  • The Samples Behind Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’

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    Following a look at Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele earlier this week, Power 106‘s Wax Only series is back to examine Kanye West‘s debut album, The College Dropout.

    Released in 2004, College Dropout has sold over four million copies worldwide. It also received 10 Grammy nominations, winning Best Rap Album.

    The album featured five singles: “Slow Jamz,” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, “Jesus Walks,” which won a Grammy for Best Rap Song, “Through the Wire,” “All Falls Down,” and “The New Workout Plan.”

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It is hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples on The College Dropout.

    Related: The Samples Behind Ghostface Killah’s ‘Supreme Clientele’

  • The Samples Behind Ghostface Killah’s ‘Supreme Clientele’

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    Los Angeles radio station Power 106 has returned with a new episode of Wax Only, this time featuring Ghostface Killah’s 2000 album, Supreme Clientele.

    Wax Only is a project by Power’s Production Director, Vin Rican, that showcases classic samples used on hip-hop’s greatest albums.

    Supreme Clientele, which was released 17 years ago today, is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of its decade. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart and featured the singles “Cherchez LaGhost” and “Apollo Kids.” Other notable tracks include “One” and “Mighty Healthy,” the latter of which was sampled by Kanye West for “No More Parties in LA.”

    Watch above as Vinny goes through the samples used on the album.

    Related: The Samples Behind Ghostface Killah’s ‘Ironman’ Album

  • Kutcorners: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

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    Kutcorners

    As part of Serato’s artist relations team, Matt Perry, a.k.a. Kutcorners, is constantly on the road. From festivals and competitions to conferences and workshops, the Vancouver, Canada native does it all. Kutcorners is also a resident at Good Life Sundays at Republic and is in two groups: The Freshest and Live Evil. Check out his must-have travel items below.

    Items

    Serato 10″ Control Vinyl

    “I’ve got a few different versions of these, but I’d say my favorite is the first Red Bull Thre3style edition.”

    Microsonic ER-15 Custom Earplugs

    “These are so essential; I even DJ with them. I can hear clearer and better and wake up feeling good. Hearing is a major cause of fatigue, and when you’re going to an event every night for a week, these babies enable you to stay focused, make music, and enjoy it the next day.”

    Supreme Kleen Kanteen Water Bottle

    “Drinking water is very good for you, but plastic bottles are bad for the environment. I don’t bust this out in the club, but I use it everywhere else to stay hydrated.”

    Powered USB Hub and USB Cables

    “I don’t usually use CDJs, but when I do, I use HID mode. It’s the easiest and most fun way to perform on CDJs for me. I sometimes find myself in a club with the typical CDJ and DJM900NXS setup, and the hub enables me to take full advantage of that rig. Plus, you can use it to charge your phone, etc.”

    Apple iPad Mini 2

    “I use this with the Serato Remote quite a bit. I really enjoy having access to cues, loops, samples, and FX regardless of the setup. Also, since the iPad is small and flat, it fits in my bag nicely and doubles as a movie player on flights where there isn’t a TV. I’ve yet to read a book on it, though. [laughs]”

    ###

    Follow Kutcorners on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Satoru: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

  • Tips for Your First DJ Gig, Part 2

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    In December, DJ TLM shared some tips on how to prepare for your first DJ gig. The episode, which was part of DJcityTV’s Share the Knowledge series, focused on communicating with the venue.

    On this episode, TLM returns for part two with some pointers on preparing your set selection.

    Related: Tips for Your First DJ Gig, Part 1

  • Satoru: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

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    Satoru

    As Music Director, Satoru is a key part of DJcity UK‘s team. The Newcastle native is also an active club DJ and can be found rocking clubs from England to Japan on a regular basis. Below are five essential items that he always carries in his DJ bag.

    Items

    D-Link 4-Port USB Hub

    “I prefer HID mode over control CDs, so this is essential for connecting CDJs to my laptop. It’s quite compact, and I can charge my phone at the same time, too.”

    Wrigley’s Extra Peppermint Gum

    “Clubs are loud, and you probably sip on liquor when you’re there. When it comes to exchanging words with another human being, proximities get close and so does your breath. Keep it fresh!”

    Fader Caps

    “We’ve all been there: you walk into the club only to find that all of the fader caps on the mixer are missing. It’s a nightmare. It doesn’t happen to me very much anymore, but I bring caps just in case.”

    Mpow Clip-On Wide Angle Lens

    “Who needs a GoPro? Clip this baby onto your iPhone and get some dope wide-angle shots of the club and crowd.”

    Nurofen

    “If I’m in another city or have a loose schedule, I usually stick around the club and have a jolly good ‘ole time after my set. Hotel checkout times aren’t hangover-friendly, so it’s handy to have some painkillers around for the morning. Be prepared!”

    ***

    Follow Satoru on Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud, and Twitter.

    Related: DJ Ferno: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

  • Travel Tips for DJs Visiting Houston

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    Ape Drums
    Ape Drums (credit: P.O.P Photography)

    DJs may not know where to eat, stay, and play when they get booked in cities they’ve never been to before. To help them get the most out of their visit, DJcity has a monthly series called DJ Travel Tips. The series highlights some of the best things to do in some of the most popular destinations around the world. For this edition, DJcity spoke with four DJs from Houston, a longtime hip-hop hub and the location of Super Bowl 51.

    Where to stay

    Ape Drums:

    “Stay at Hotel ZaZa, it’s located in the Museum District and is one of the nicest hotels in Houston. If you’re into arts and culture, there are several museums to visit in the area. If you’re on a budget, the Hilton and Hyatt Regency in downtown are also very nice and surrounded by things to do, such as parks and places to eat.”

    Where to eat

    Eddie Deville:

    “Check out Laurenzo’s on Washington Ave for the prime rib or fish and grits, Frank’s Pizza for a pie, and The Turkey Leg Hut, which is known for their stuffed turkey legs and exotic surf and turf plates. The hut also has DJs at night. For your Sunday morning gig hangover, try the chicken-fried lobster brunch at MAX’s Wine Dive. If you want to see the origins of Houston’s chopped and screwed culture, take a trip to MLK Boulevard and hit up Timmy Chan’s for some wings and rice served with your choice of Kool-Aid.”

    What to do

    DJ T Gray:

    “If you have a good amount of time on a nice afternoon, a trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center is always a fun and educational adventure. Houston’s Museum District offers various facilities ranging from the Museum of Natural Science and to the jaw-dropping Holocaust Museum. Rice Village, home of Rice University, has a lot of boutique shopping and great restaurants and bars. Also, hit up Vinh or George at Mega DJ Center to get the latest and custom DJ gear and accessories.”

    Where to party

    Tony Styles:

    “If bar hopping is your thing, Midtown is your place. Start at The Dogwood on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, and make your way around the block and down the streets. Washington Ave also has a bar hopping buzz. Start at Kung Fu Saloon and make your rounds on foot from there. One of the newer, high-end spots in the city is Clé. Big names roll through there on the regular, like Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Drake, and Justin Bieber. It has an outdoor pool with cabanas, and in the summer during “Sunday Fundae,” it feels like Vegas. AURA and La Roux often have some great talent also.”

    Related: Travel Tips for DJs Visiting Philadelphia

  • DJ Brace Explores Chinese Culture Through Turntablism

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    DJ Brace
    DJ Brace on the cut at Mu’s Mansion in Lijiang, China. (credit: Caroline Dejeneffe)

    DJ Brace, the 2016 DMC Online World Champion, recently traveled to China to explore its culture. However, unlike most tourists, the Canadian native brought along his portable turntable and scratched his way through the country.

    During the two-week journey, Brace recorded sounds from the cities he visited and made beats out of them. He then filmed himself scratching over the instrumentals.

    However, despite receiving offers to perform live, Brace stuck to his plan and continued to explore the country and search for sounds.

    Check out all of his videos and commentary below, and download his China EP on Bandcamp, which contains the beats he made while in the country.

    The Great Wall of China

    “The Great Wall was our first stop the morning after landing in Beijing. When we arrived, I started to imagine what it would be like to guard China and look out for the Mongols who tried to invade. That was the inspiration behind my cuts. The view was amazing, and it was very inspiring to scratch there.”

    The Temple of Heaven, Beijing

    “The people in the surrounding park on our way to the Temple of Heaven were singing, dancing, doing Tai Chi, and playing cards even though it was cold. The place had a strong vibe, and the people watching me were so respectful of my space while I was recording. They hit me up for selfies afterward.”

    Seven Star Park, Guilin

    “When we first arrived at Seven Star Park, two monks were watching me scratch. You could tell by how they looked at me they knew I was playing with sounds from their culture. It’s amazing how the energy from an audience of only two people can pump you up to do your best. Believe it or not, the baby in this video was the third one to approach me while filming the routine. I let each one of them do some baby scratches. Later, after we finished shooting, we climbed the mountain in the background and ran into some monkeys who ended up chasing us. We found a family of three who were playing music together. I recorded them for the next routine. These are such good memories. Real connections were made to people without a single word. I’ll never forget our time in Guilin.”

    Mu’s Mansion, Lijiang

    “I already had a beat ready for Mu’s Mansion that was made up of sounds from Seven Star Park, but we still went out on our first night in Lijiang to get samples. After a fun night of exploring and recording in the Old Town, we visited Mu’s Mansion. I had a lot of recordings to go through to make this beat, and it all came together nicely. There were so many dope spots at Mu’s Mansion (or Mufu, as the locals call it).”

    Old Town of Lijiang

    “I heard a Na-Xi tribal song all over the Old Town of Lijiang and had to sample it. We thought we were done shooting for the day, but then some dancers invited me to play with them.”

    Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang

    “This park was immense, and every part of it had some calming name like ‘The Moon Embracing Pavilion.’ So with that vibe around us, I decided to pull out a flute freestyle I’d been saving.”

    Related: Watch DJ Brace’s Mini Mix for Daily Mail

  • DJ Ferno: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

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    DJ Ferno
    DJ Ferno performs at Foxtail Nightclub in Las Vegas during CES 2017. (photo: Cristopher Schafer)

    If you’ve ever seen an episode of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Vinyl Destination show, then you know who DJ Ferno is. A native of Philadelphia, the DJ/producer started off as a local party rocker and media personality and was recruited by Jeff in 2013 to join him on tour. Ferno has since spent hundreds of days on the road with “The Magnificent,” performing everywhere from Las Vegas and London to Thailand and Dubai. Below are his must-have travel items.

    Items

    UAD Apollo Twin Interface

    “We tour almost 200 days a year, so it’s important to be able to record while out. UAD nailed it with this interface. I love the converters and being able to record with ultra-low latency. Their incredible plugins are a bonus.”

    Ableton Push

    “I’m an Ableton user, and since its release, the Push controller has been my main instrument.”

    Alcohol Wipes

    “We’ve all been in the position when the connection in the [turntable’s] tonearm gives us issues. Alcohol wipes solve the problem seven out of 10 times.”

    Passport

    “It’s a must that I always have my passport. A while back we were in Los Angeles and got a call that we needed fly to London the following morning. That was actually the day Will [Smith] and Jeff did The Graham Norton Show. I always gotta be ready.”

    Shinola Notebook

    “I use this to quickly take down ideas and outline projects I’m working on. I prefer writing as opposed to typing.”

    ***

    Watch the latest episode of Vinyl Destination below:

    Follow DJ Ferno on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Big Syphe: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

  • Facebook Developing Content ID System to Fight Copyright Infringement

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    Facebook

    Facebook is developing a content identification system to fight copyright infringement, reports the Financial Times.

    According to a source that spoke with Billboard, the system is similar to YouTube’s Content ID, which identifies videos containing copyrighted music. When the system finds a match, YouTube does what the copyright holder asks it to do with the video: mute it, block it, leave it alone, or monetize it with ads.

    The report follows an increase in copyright enforcement on Facebook, which has resulted in blocked videos and in some cases disabled accounts. Both pre-recorded and live videos have been affected.

    The stepped up enforcement has been a rude awakening for DJs, as Facebook had long been a haven for mixes and turntablism routines. Takedowns and disabled accounts had been relatively rare, compared to YouTube and SoundCloud.

    Facebook’s new content ID system will likely result in a further increase in blocked videos and disabled accounts.

    “[Facebook sees] the huge amount of traffic music content is responsible for on their platform and [doesn’t] want to be on the wrong end of an artist fight,” a music industry source told Billboard. “They also see that there’s a potential opportunity to position themselves as friendly to content creators as opposed to YouTube, so they are working fast to get this right.”

    Billboard also reports that Facebook is currently in talks with major labels to license content, though the Financial Times cited a source saying a deal would not be done before the spring.

    “The reality for Facebook and YouTube is that more and more they are transitioning from tech platforms to media companies,” the source told Billboard. “And the more they look like media companies, the more they are going to have to act like them and respect creators and pay for content.”

    Related: DJ Mixes Are Now Legal on SoundCloud, Says Founder