• Do You Back Up All of Your Files?

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    There’s one phrase that should never get old for a DJ: “back up your files.” While it may sound redundant, there are still a number of DJs who haven’t taken the time to protect their music collection. On this episode of DJcityTV’s Share the Knowledge, DJ TLM reminds DJs why it’s crucial to back up all of their files and offers some tips on how to do so.

    Related: Clean vs. Dirty Versions of Tracks

  • The Samples Behind Nas’ ‘Stillmatic’

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    Following his iconic debut album, Illmatic, Nas took his next three projects in a more mainstream direction. The decision put him under heavy scrutiny and even brought upon JAY-Z‘s infamous 2001 diss track, “Takeover.”

    Nas didn’t take long to respond to both his critics and JAY, however, dropping his fifth studio album Stillmatic on Dec. 18, 2001. The project, which is a nod to Illmatic, is widely considered as Nas’ comeback album. It also featured the track “Ether,” his epic response to Jigga.

    Stillmatic peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in January 2002. It featured production from the likes of DJ Premier and Large Professor and included the singles “Got Ur Self a Gun,” “One Mic,” and “Rule” featuring Amerie.

    To honor its 16-year anniversary, Power 106 has examined some of the album’s classic samples on its Wax Only series.

    Watch it above.

    Related: The Samples Behind Black Star’s ‘Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star’

  • Kittens: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

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    Kittens
    Kittens / Instagram

    As a member of A-Trak‘s influential Fool’s Gold family, Los Angeles DJ/producer Kittens stays busy rocking parties around the world. She is also a member of Athletixx, an LA collective that includes Hoodboi, Falcons, and Promnite.

    When she’s not DJing or working on music, Kittens hosts a series of non-profit DJ workshops for women (all proceeds donated to local women’s shelters). Her in-depth musical knowledge enables her to engage all kinds of crowds, from exclusive Hollywood hip-hop parties to cutting-edge dance and electronic events. She is currently on tour with RL Grime.

    Check out her must-have travel items below.

    Backup Bits

    “If I’ve learned anything from DJing over the years, it’s that equipment can and will break, no matter how prepared or fancy the venue is. So having simple things to swap out in case of an emergency is helpful. I always have the following: a couple of USBs (some with music and rekordbox loaded, others with the Serato timecode); an RCA to RCA cord (I can’t tell you how many times there’s been some odd sound issue that ended up being a faulty RCA cord); a USB-A male to -B male a.k.a. printer cable a.k.a. the cable that connects the Serato box to your computer (this is one of those cords that you won’t easily find laying around at a club and a very important one to have in perfect working condition. Always carry a backup).”

    Handfan

    “It gets hot on stages and in booths nine out of 10 times. I like having a little fan for emergency cooldown use and also because it makes me feel like a sassy bitch.”

    Mini Deodorant

    “Like I said before, it gets hot up there. Stay fresh, everyone.”

    Gum and Listerine Strips

    “No fan wants to meet you after you play and smell whiskey while you speak.”

    Beauty Essentials

    “I have a tiny bag within my DJ bag that has hair ties, hair pins, concealer, chapstick, a small hairbrush, face powder, and eyeliner. Sometimes your perfectly made-up face and hair can get messed up during a sweaty, jumping around performance. If you want to make sure you look halfway cute in photos with fans or while you’re hanging out after your set, you gotta be prepared to do a little touch-up.”

    Kittens

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

    Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

  • Chile Gets Set for Its Annual DJ Battle, Batalla de Dominio

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    DJ Nasty
    DJ Nasty at the 2016 Batalla de Dominio / Facebook

    Chile’s ninth annual Batalla de Dominio DJ competition is set to take place this Saturday, Dec. 16 at Espacio Diana in Santiago. The battle is co-sponsored by DJcity, Serato, Denon DJ, and Promusic to name a few.

    Competitors from around the country will vie for titles in three categories: technical, advanced scratch, and intermediate scratch. They’ll be judged on originality, technique, structure, style, and musicality. The winners of the 2016 battle were Loudcut (technical), Redmist (advanced), and Raul Rulz (intermediate).

    The event will also feature a showcase by Chilean turntablist crew, Modus Operandi.

    Chile has produced some world-class turntablists as of late. In 2015, DJ Byte took home the prominent Red Bull 3Style World Championship. And following in his footsteps is Diego Zapata, the reigning two-time 3Style Chile champion.

    Get more details about the Batalla de Dominio competition on their website.

    BATALLA-01-Top

    Related: Red Bull 3Style VIII World Finalists: The Full List

  • Shawn Prez Discusses the Global Spin Awards on The Breakfast Club

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    Global Spin Awards founder Shawn Prez stopped by The Breakfast Club on Tuesday to discuss all things Global Spin Awards.

    The event, which honors DJs of various genres and specialities, goes down in Los Angeles on Feb. 15, 2018.

    During the interview, Prez revealed the nominees for the three biggest categories: DJ of the Year, Hip-Hop DJ of the Year, and EDM DJ of the Year. A former Bad Boy Records executive, he also discussed his experience at the label.

    The full list of nominees, which was announced the same day, includes DJcity under the Online Record Breakers category.

    Watch the interview above and check out the nominees here.

    Topics discussed:

    1:15 – Why Shawn moved the awards from New York City to Los Angeles
    3:20 – How the awards have grown
    5:20 – Female DJs that are doing their thing
    6:10 – New categories at the awards
    11:10 – Why EDM DJs make more money than hip-hop DJs
    13:20 – Shawn’s work at Bad Boy Records and how Diddy has changed
    25:10 – How some DJs get mad when they don’t win or get nominated
    26:50 – Nominee announcements
    35:00 – Creating a DJ union

    Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Watch: DJ Carlo Atendido Visits DJcity

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    DJ Carlo Atendido, former Red Bull 3Style Philippines champion, recently traveled to South Dakota to visit some relatives. On his way, the Manila native stopped in Los Angeles to explore the city for the first time. To share his experience, Atendido vlogged about his first day.

    Upon his arrival at LAX airport, Atendido was greeted by his friend and three-time Red Bull 3Style Los Angeles champion, DJ Dynamix. The two made their way to DJcity’s headquarters in Culver City, where they met with the team and partook in a scratch session.

    Atendido’s last stop of the day was at the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound in Glendale. He sat down with D-Styles, his DJ idol and one of the school’s founders, for a quick chat.

    Watch the vlog above.

    Related: A Look Inside the Beat Junkies’ DJ School

  • A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

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    A-Trak
    A-Trak at ComplexCon in Long Beach, CA / Oliver Scherillo

    A-Trak‘s gift behind the tables coupled with his ambitious and selfless personality has helped him transcend DJing. With his Fool’s Gold label and Day Off festival, the Montreal native has flourished into one of the most influential and respected figures in the music industry. And, after a prolific 20-year career, A-Trak continues to push forward with no end in sight.

    The Fool’s Gold chief recently got a chance to tell his inspiring story in a comprehensive interview for Complex’s Blueprint series (he’s the first DJ to be featured on the series). The 36-minute conversation covered most of his career and is full of valuable insights and lessons.

    Topics discussed include how working with Kanye West changed his life, launching Fool’s Gold, the rise of EDM, his Goldie Awards DJ battle, and why continually reinvents himself.

    On why he and Nick Catchdubs started Fool’s Gold:

    “The fact that we’re a DJ-run label was important because a lot of the early releases fell into this unclassifiable category of club music. We had a few rappers that were experimenting with electronic beats, which at the time was not the norm at all. So we had that, and we had electronic music that appealed to hip-hop heads. Nick and I knew that as DJs that all made sense and not only that, but that was the most exciting music at the time.”

    On the rise of EDM:

    “Ever since I was a kid scratching, it was so important for me for DJing to have legitimacy. And when EDM exploded in North America, we finally got it. Rather than getting hung up over, you know, some sides of it that maybe weren’t the version of DJing that I like or whatever else, my thing was like, ‘Hey, we finally got people’s eyeballs. This is the moment now. We got people’s attention. Everybody wants in on this.’ … DJ culture. That’s what the EDM really is. DJ culture conquered the world, and to me that was exciting.”

    On his financial standing:

    “I’ve never taken a salary from Fool’s Gold. This company is not how I make money. This company is how I get cool ideas out. I make my money being A-Trak. And occasionally that involves Duck Sauce or whatever else.”

    On being open-minded to different music:

    “I’m such a child of the DJ Premier era. I’m such a child of boom bap. And when keyboard beats started appearing, that sounded so wrong to me in the beginning. But [then] I realized that I was clinging on to one paradigm and that it’s wrong to do that in music, especially as a DJ.”

    On staying relevant:

    “In general, I will say that the entertainment business and music as a whole is designed to give people like myself, and anyone that makes music, a career normally of like five years. The challenge is longevity, and the way to overcome that challenge I think, or at least I’ve found, is this sort of constant reinvention. I always think of where the path is going and, you know, what I did before and what I’m about to do next. And that’s why none of the new elements that come into what I’m doing are ever too much off course because I know the story. I’m writing the story.”

    Watch the full conversation below.

    Related: A-Trak Breaks Down His ‘rockstar’ Routine

  • Outkast’s Big Boi Goes Digging at Amoeba

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    Outkast‘s Big Boi recently went shopping at Amoeba Music in Hollywood for the store’s What’s in My Bag? series.

    All of his picks were funky except for one: Kate Bush’s 2016 rock album, Before the Dawn. It turns out that the legendary rapper is a huge fan of Bush, citing her as one of his top three artists of all time alongside Bob Marley and N.W.A.

    Big’s other picks were Funkadelic’s Cosmic Slop and Maggot Brain, Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall and Dangerous, and his debut solo album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty.

    Watch him discuss the albums above.

    Related: The Samples Behind Outkast’s ‘Aquemini’

  • The Samples Behind The Pharcyde’s ‘Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde’

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    Power 106’s Wax Only series has examined the samples used on The Pharcyde‘s iconic debut album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde.

    The project, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop albums of the 90s. It featured the singles “Passin’ Me By,” “Ya Mama.,” “4 Better Or 4 Worse,” and “Otha Fish.” The former peaked at No. 52 on Billboard’s Hot 100, becoming The Pharcyde’s highest-charting single to date.

    Released in 1992, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde arrived during the dominant era of West Coast hip-hop. Despite that, the Los Angeles-based group presented a more light-hearted and jazzier alternative to gangsta rap. It earned them comparisons to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, according to a feature on Who Sampled.

    Watch Wax Only above.

    Related: The Samples Behind Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

  • Fundraiser for North Bay Fire Victims Feat. DJ Amen, Miles Medina, Teeko, Panic City, and More

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    Super Friends

    An amazing lineup of DJs are joining forces in San Francisco on Wednesday (Nov. 8) to raise money for the North Bay fire victims.

    Full lineup (in alphabetical order):

    Amen, Chuy Gomez, Cutso, D Sharp, Fran Boogie, Golden Chyld, Miles Medina, Mind Motion, Panic City, Platurn, Romeo Reyes, Scotty Fox, Teeko, Theles, TRUTHLiVE, and Umami.

    100% of the door and donations will be given to the victims. RSVP for guaranteed entry.

    Related: Panic City Drops DJcity Podcast Mix

    Posted in DJ Culture