• The Houston Rockets’ Official DJ Shares His Playlist for the NBA Playoffs

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    DJ T. Gray
    DJ T. Gray at Toyota Center in Houston.

    DJ T. Gray, a veteran DJ/producer from Texas, has been the official DJ for the Houston Rockets for the past four seasons. The team is set to take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs on Monday.

    T. Gray began working with the Rockets as their public address announcer in the 2000s. He also serves as the official DJ for the Houston Dynamo soccer team and as the music director at Country Rap Tunes Radio. As a producer, he has done remixes for Texas artists like Beyoncé, Pimp C, Chamillionaire, and Slim Thug.

    With game one of the Western Conference Semifinals upon us, we asked T. Gray to share his playlist of tracks for this year’s postseason. His list includes song requests from players as well as his own picks. We also asked him a couple questions about what it’s like DJing for the Rockets.

    Player Picks

    James Harden: Nipsey Hussle ft. Kendrick Lamar – Dedication
    Gerald Green: Fat Pat – Tops Drop
    Trevor Ariza: Drake ft. PartyNextDoor – Wednesday Night Interlude
    Rockets Mascot: BlocBoy JB – Shoot

    T. Gray’s Picks

    Huncho Jack, Travis Scott, & Quavo ft. Takeoff – Eye 2 Eye
    Nipsey Hussle – Grindin All My Life
    Meek Mill – Monster
    Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
    DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
    UGK – Choppin’ Blades
    Gary Glitter – Rock and Roll, Pt. 2
    Yung Martez ft. DJ Xo – Never Forget
    Lil’ Flip ft. Young Buck & Bun B – Game Over (Flip) – Remix
    KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It)
    J. Cole – Motiv8
    J Balvin & Willy William – Mi Gente – Deville Remix
    Krajno – Saxoton
    Drake – Nice For What
    Migos – Stir Fry – Mr. Collipark Remix
    Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris – Yeah!
    G-Eazy ft. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B – No Limit – DJ O Remix
    Missy Elliott ft. Ciara & Fatman Scoop – Lose Control
    Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo – Boneless
    The Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling – Kees Sjansen Moombahton Remix
    Smash Mouth – All Star
    Travis Scott ft. Kanye West & Lil Uzi Vert – Watch
    The Jacksons – Can You Feel It

    DJ T. Gray

    Which player has the best taste in music?

    James Harden is really the DJ as far as what the players want to hear. Being from L.A., he’s got a lot of love for their local hip-hop scene. Whether it’s the latest release from Nipsey Hussle, a mixtape cut from Bino Rideux or a DJ Mustard banger, we’ve created this bridge from Houston to L.A., and I love it. Most of the songs he wants to hear are not clean, so I spend a great deal of time making my own clean edits. Team player over here!

    What song gets the players most hype?

    BlocBoy JB’s “Shoot” is king right now. Viral videos of Harden dancing to it during warm-ups have helped the song grow with fans, and when it’s played, the energy in the Toyota Center rises to playoff level.

    Follow DJ T. Gray on Instagram, Mixcloud, Twitter.

    Related: The Toronto Raptors’ Official DJ Shares His Playlist for the NBA Playoffs

  • Travel Tips for DJs Visiting Berlin

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    DJ D-Tale
    DJ D-Tale at The Pearl in Berlin.

    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 launched 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.

    Where to Stay

    DJ D-Tale:

    “Because of the Berlin Wall’s history, there is no single city center but different downtown areas to explore. The best hotel and Airbnb locations with easy access to shops, restaurants, and cultural spots are Rosenthaler Platz (Mitte), Kurfürstendamm (Charlottenburg), and Schlesisches Tor (Kreuzberg). If you want to go high profile and need quick access to a studio or meeting room, you should either stay at Soho House or Nhow. Another place I often recommend is Adina.”

    Where to Eat

    Monsieur Dope:

    “Check out Adana Grillhaus in Kreuzberg for some Turkish grill. Get the spicy tomato salad, hummus, and charcoal grilled mixed meat platter. For juicy ribs, smoked meat, and mac and cheese, you gotta check Chicago Williams BBQ. The boys there will set you in the right mood. Crackers is the spot for some fine dining and one of the best tartar sauces in the city. Their cocktail menu is a good start to the night. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, the restaurant Cookies Cream is it. They just became the first vegetarian restaurant in Germany to get a Michelin star. For your hangover breakfast, hit up Commonground for eggs Benedict, French toast, and a good coffee. If you’re craving for a soupy hungover solution, get some pho and a four-time best burger in town ‘De La Sauce’ at District Mot.”

    What to Do

    DJ Abuze:

    “Berlin offers tons of great museums ranging from the world famous Pergamonmuseum to the Computer Game Museum, where you can play yourself thru the gaming history of PC, Atari, Commodore 64, Nintendo, Sega, and more. On a chilled sunny Sunday during summer, the whole town meets at Mauerpark. Drink a cold beer, enjoy a free karaoke show, and hunt some rare vinyl at the biggest second-hand market in town. Secret tip: Berlin Musictours gives a guided tour thru Berlin’s music history of the past 30 years. Visit the world-famous Hansa Studios, where U2 and David Bowie recorded legendary albums.”

    Where to Party

    DJ Craft:

    “The best places for parties in Berlin are Prince Charles, 808 Club, Musik & Frieden, Avenue Club, The Pearl, Puro Sky Lounge, Festsaal Kreuzberg, and Bricks. My favorite place is Prince Charles because of their built-in Funktion-One sound system. I also love the selection of artists that play there like TroyBoi. The best venue for live shows is Columbiahalle, where they have artists like D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar.”

    Follow DJcity Germany on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    Related: Travel Tips for DJs Visiting London

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • DJ Life: Carlo Atendido Performs at Saulog Tagbilaran Festival in the Philippines

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    On this episode of DJ Life, DJ Carlo Atendido travels to the island of Bohol in the Philippines to perform at the Saulog Tagbilaran festival. The trip was a success — except for one minor setback.

    Related: DJ Carlo Atendido: What It’s Like DJing a Festival in the Philippines

  • The Toronto Raptors’ Official DJ Shares His Playlist for the NBA Playoffs

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    4KORNERS, a veteran DJ/producer from Canada, has served as the official DJ for the Toronto Raptors for 13 seasons. The team is currently battling it out against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs.

    The Toronto native does more than DJ for one of the league’s best franchises, though. 4KORNERS also produces music and holds residencies at clubs in global cities like London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Dubai. His tracks have received support from heavyweights like Diplo, Skrillex, and DJ Snake.

    With game three going down tonight, we asked 4KORNERS which tracks he’s been playing during this year’s playoff season. His list includes song requests from players and his own picks. We also asked him a couple questions about what it’s like DJing for the Raptors.

    Player Picks

    DeMar DeRozan: Nipsey Hussle ft. YG – Last Time That I Checc’d
    Kyle Lowry: BlocBoy JB ft. Drake – Look Alive
    Fred Van Vleet: Drake – Free Smoke
    Norman Powell: Drake ft. Quavo & Travis Scott – Portland
    Raptors mascot: Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur

    4KORNERS’ Picks

    Peter Jackson ft. Karl Wolf – North Over Everything
    Drake – Nice For What
    Rascalz – Northern Touch
    Kardinal Offishall ft. Ray Robinson – Everyday Rudebwoy
    Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
    Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West – Put On
    T.I. – Bring Em Out
    Kanye West ft. Rihanna – All Of The Lights
    Eminem – Lose Yourself
    Queen – We Will Rock You
    Icona Pop ft. Charlie XCX – I Love It
    Jack U ft. Bunji Garlin – Jungle Bae
    Machel Montano – Like Ah Boss
    Pengz & TwoTwo – Griselda Blanco
    Puff Daddy & The Family ft. The Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes – Victory
    Showtek, We Are Loud, & Sonny Wilson – Booyah
    Pressa ft. Tory Lanez – Canada Goose
    Metallica – Enter Sandman
    LMFAO ft. Lil Jon – Shots – Raptors Edit
    Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
    Outkast – Hey Ya!
    Jazz Cartier ft. KTOE – Right Now
    Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us
    Blur – Song 2


    What song gets the players most hype?

    That’s hard to say, man. At critical points in games, we get all cinematic and play something like Jorge Quintero’s “300 Violin Orchestra” which definitely gets them and the crowd going on some epic vibes. But then again, in Toronto, you can never go wrong with some Drizzy Drake. Tracks like “Right Above It,” “Trophies,” “Jumpman,” and “Energy” are always the right choice!

    Which player has the best taste in music?

    Kyle Lowry hands down! He gets up to all the new stuff but definitely loves his old school too. He’s the one that will be dancing or singing on court to anything from the newest Drake record to some old Rick James.

    What’s the strangest request that you’ve received from a player?

    Serge Ibaka once requested that I play some really smooth, mellow French afrobeats songs while he warmed up early before the rest of the guys came out. I thought it was strange because the musical vibes were so chill, almost sexy. The kind of music you might want to hear at a trendy high-end restaurant in Paris on date night. It’s not at all the type of vibe to get hype to before a basketball game. But, he went on to have a monster game, so what the heck do I know? Haha!

    Does Drake vibe out to his own music at the games?

    Yes! Particularly when I play unique remixes of his tracks such as Grandtheft‘s “0 to 100” remix, DJ Flex’s “Controlla” remix, and Tuner S’ “One Dance” remix. A lot of the time me playing them is the first time he hears some of these DJ-made remixes and edits.

    Follow 4KORNERS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    Related: Meet DJ Severe, the Official DJ for the Dodgers

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Vice Talks All Things DJing in Epic ‘Reflections of a DJ’ Interview

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    Vice (Source: Instagram)

    Legendary DJ/producer Vice recently sat down with the Reflections of a DJ podcast for an epic, three-hour conversation. The iconic DJ discussed the evolution of his career and the past and current state of the scene.

    How seeing DJ AM perform at a Hollywood club inspired him to DJ in that scene:

    “Right away I’m like, ‘What the f#ck is this? This is like a very crazy wedding set, but it’s still kinda cool.’ [He was playing] like the Joan Jetts and the Journeys. It’s all the basics. Chicago and all these records are playing but then JAY Z plays and [A] Tribe [Called Quest], and I’m like, ‘What the f#ck? How are all these people dancing to this? It was mind-blowing because I DJed so long in L.A., but I had never seen that side of L.A. … I was like, ‘Yo, this dude is on some next level sh#t, and he’s in a different world, and I wanna know about this. So that’s when I just started going to all those Hollywood clubs.”

    Why he produces dance music instead of hip-hop:

    “I would try and work with rappers and every rapper that I first wanted, I couldn’t afford because they’d all want crazy money to do a verse. And [the] second time, the sessions I got in with rappers, even though I’m in hip-hop, I felt out of place. I don’t smoke weed, I didn’t drink in the studio. I would try and vibe in certain sessions, and there was no-one that was exciting me. I want MCs; it’s so hard. I want Andre 3000 on a record. I couldn’t get him at the time. … And I honestly, truthfully, I didn’t have the hustle. I respect A-Trak so much because he goes out finds these rappers, and I’m like, ‘Who are these dudes? Where do you find them?’ … Also, as much as a lot of people don’t know, I’ve always been into dance, but more into dance like Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Kenny Dope, real house music.”

    How he reacted when the scene switched back to hip-hop from EDM:

    “I felt like I was already on brand and it was a wedding. [It was] like the music has just shifted again and I know how to adapt. I know how to adapt to any moment. Even to this day, if someone throws me in a senior citizen party, I know how to adapt and start playing the room and play the music. For me, I’m always about the ride.”

    DJing on the radio vs. DJing in the club:

    “I always give props to radio DJs because all of us play in clubs and we’re out, and we’re rocking, and you feel the energy, and then you get thrown on radio, and you’re in a box, [a] little room. And at the time, Power [106] had like over a million listeners, and you’re like, ‘Go ahead and DJ with no reaction, no feedback, no vibe.'”

    Listen to the entire convo below via SoundCloud, and stay tuned for new episodes every Wednesday. The podcast can also be found on iTunes.

    Related: Watch DJ Vice and Entrepreneur Chris ‘Drama’ Pfaff Go on a Taco Run

  • Watch: DJcity Hosts First Ladies Linkup

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    Earlier this month, a diverse group of DJs from around Los Angeles got together for the first DJcity Ladies Linkup. The exclusive event, which took place at DJcity’s headquarters, included DJs and turntablists such as DJ Shortee, PattyClover, Nikki Duran, and DJ Eliza May.

    Organized by DJcity team members MISS DJ BLISS and DJ Dazzler, the gathering featured jam sessions and custom vinyl record art.

    “The energy was full of good vibes, inspiration, and motivation,” Nikki Duran wrote on Instagram. “It’s an amazing feeling when you can connect with other ladies about this passion that is DJing.”

    Watch the recap of the Ladies Linkup above.

    Related: The Women Who Have Contributed to DJcityTV

  • Idris Elba to Star as DJ in Netflix Comedy Series

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    Idris Elba
    Idris Elba at the Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen, Austria on April 13, 2018. (Credit: Andrew Whitton)

    Actor and part-time DJ Idris Elba is set to star in a new Netflix comedy series titled Turn Up Charlie. The UK native will play a struggling DJ who puts himself in an undesirable predicament for a chance at stardom.

    Before hitting the big screen, Elba began his career as a DJ in East London under the moniker Big Dris. He has played major festivals such as Creamfields and Glastonbury and has held a residency at the world-renowned Pacha Ibiza.

    In addition to DJing, Elba is also a producer, having released several albums and remixes. His notable projects include co-producing and performing on the intro to JAY-Z‘s 2007 album, American Gangster, and his new house remix of Natalie Wood and N:Fostell’s “Circles.”

    Elba is best known for his roles on BBC One’s drama Luther and HBO’s The Wire. He also starred as Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

    Turn Up Charlie, which was co-created by Elba and producer Gary Reich, will begin production in May. A premiere date has not been determined.

    Related: Goldman Sach’s Next CEO Is a Part-Time DJ

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Las Vegas Talent Buyer Dave Fogg Gives Insight Into His Booking Process

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    Dave Fogg
    Dave Fogg (Credit: DMahoney Photo)

    If you DJ or party in Las Vegas on a regular basis, chances are you’ve been to an event that Dave Fogg has booked or performed at. Originally a DJ, Fogg got his start as a talent buyer for Club RA at Luxor in the late ’90s. (RA was the first venue in Vegas to book dance music artists.) From there, Fogg went on to book for clubs at casinos like Hard Rock, Station, and Palms. He’s seen the scene go through various transformations as both a buyer and a DJ.

    Now, Fogg is pushing boundaries as a buyer at Drai’s popular Beachclub and After Hours venues. The Beachclub’s lineup boasts cutting-edge acts like A-Trak, Showtek, MK, TroyBoi, Henry Fong, 4B, Sak Noel, Ape Drums, and Stooki Sounds.

    With the return of pool season in Vegas, we spoke with Fogg about his process for finding and booking new talent.

    What do you look for when searching for talent?

    Relevance is probably the most important, whether it’s a new, up-and-coming artist or an older, established one. There’s also the early buzz surrounding artists and their release schedules. If you’re a working DJ, you have the advantage of getting that information ahead of everyone else. Lastly, I like to book artists that are friends and collaborators with artists who have residencies at the other nightclubs. This is a nice layer because you can get them to show up and hang out, even if it’s against the wishes of some bitter club GMs.

    How do you find new acts?

    Surprisingly, not through industry standards like Pollstar, but through record pools such as DJcity.

    How do you determine how much to pay a DJ?

    If you’re going off other venues in Vegas, then you’re screwed. Those inflated price points will never be a true indicator of value. I’m going off of what the venue can support, strategic booking on certain days of the year, and comparing with other cities with similar markets.

    Does being a DJ influence you as a buyer and vice versa?

    Almost all of my decisions are coming from a DJ point of view, never the other way around. It’s more about me playing someone’s track as a DJ and seeing firsthand how people react to their music. That then leads to me following up as a talent buyer and booking them. For many, it’s their first time in Las Vegas.

    TroyBoi at Drai’s Beachclub on March 24. (Source: Drai’s Beachclub)

    You’ve booked a ton of DJs over the years. Which ones have impressed you the most?

    It’s pretty much across the board. Derrick May, Loco Dice, 12th Planet, Diplo, MK, AlunaGeorge, and Rusko. I’ve been fortunate enough to be creative and a fan of the bookings that I do.

    What is a common misconception about being a buyer?

    That you have to go to Ibiza, ADE, SXSW, and all of the big festivals to “scout” for talent. It’s such a crock of sh#t. It’s honestly just an excuse for free vacations, and no worthwhile work will ever get done.

    How do you feel about the current state of the Vegas scene?

    I’d say it’s in a fairly stagnant state in some respects, meaning that the big clubs on the strip will not stop how they’re programming anytime soon. In other ways, the circle of music trends is becoming interesting.

    Where do you think its headed?

    We had EDM a few years ago, hip-hop last year, and currently there’s a return to electronic music, specifically the underground.

    Follow Dave Fogg on Instagram.

    Related: Four Color Zack: The Politics of DJing in Las Vegas

  • The Samples Behind Gang Starr’s ‘Moment of Truth’

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    Since 2015, Power 106‘s Wax Only series has examined some of the most iconic albums in hip-hop history. While each episode has been outstanding, the latest one is extra special.

    Today, Wax Only is celebrating its 100th episode by honoring the 20th anniversary of Gang Starr’s fifth studio album, Moment of Truth.

    Released on March 31, 1998, Moment of Truth debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and peaked at No. 6 on the 200 chart. The project, which was produced by DJ Premier and the late great Guru, was the duo’s first gold album and most successful commercially.

    Moment of Truth featured the singles “You Know My Steez” and “The Militia.” It also contained classic tracks like “Above the Clouds,” “Work,” and the title track, “Moment of Truth.”

    Watch Wax Only above.

    Related: The Samples Behind 2Pac’s ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…’

  • Dee Jay Silver Talks Blending Country and Dance Music

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    Dee Jay Silver
    Dee Jay Silver at Rehab Beach Club in Las Vegas on July 4, 2016. (Credit: Key Lime Photo)

    DJcity’s country music contributor Dee Jay Silver recently spoke with Las Vegas Weekly about the crossover between country and dance music. (View his DJcity country club edits here.)

    The Texas native will kick off his 2018 residency at Rehab Beach Club on Saturday and spin at Jewel and the Foundation Room in April. Those dates coincide with the Academy of Country Music Awards.

    Las Vegas Weekly writes:

    “Country has been bleeding into dance music for a while now, but things have come to a head: ‘The Middle,’ Zedd’s latest track pop with rising star Maren Morris, is solidly atop Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic chart.”

    Silver adds:

    “And look at Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line. ‘Meant to Be’ is one of the top radio songs in the country across any format. I’m excited to see where these [collaborations] will go next.”

    In addition to his residencies and role at DJcity, Silver holds it down as Jason Aldean’s tour DJ. He also has three original singles on the way, including a trap collab with Atlanta rapper Constantine.

    Follow Dee Jay Silver on Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud, and Twitter.

    Check out all of DJcity’s country club edits here.

    Related: Four Color Zack: The Politics of DJing in Las Vegas