• Mad Skillz: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

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    Veteran rapper and songwriter Mad Skillz has had a versatile career. His debut album, released in 1995, contained underground classics like “The Nod Factor” and “Move Ya Body.”

    In 2000, Skillz dropped an album for the legendary indie hip-hop label, Rawkus Records. The project featured the likes of Missy Elliot and CeeLo. By that time, Skillz had also been working as a ghostwriter, penning tracks for stars like Diddy and Will Smith.

    Most recently, Skillz has toured the world as DJ Jazzy Jeff‘s MC and also as a solo DJ. Check out his must-have travel items below, and download his latest single “In a Minute” on DJcity.

    Portable Phone Charger

    “This is a must-have whenever I travel. It’s a no-brainer.”

    Backup Hard Drive

    “I have a drive that I back up with Carbon Copy Cloner so if I ever have a computer problem I can plug the drive into any computer and still play a set. And not only will I have all my music on the computer I’m playing with, but it will also look exactly like mine.”

    Journal Book

    “I’m old school in this manner: sometimes I actually like to write things down that come to me. I could put them in my notes on my phone, but there’s just something about seeing them in my actual handwriting. It’s everything from mix ideas, transitions, bookings, and things I have planned.”

    GoPro HERO3+

    “I like to capture moments and not be intrusive at the same time. The GoPro HERO3+ has never let me down for pictures and video.”

    Serato 10″ Control Vinyl

    “They just work for me. They’re lighter, and they fit in my bag better than the 12 inches. They also stand up to normal wear and tear. I love them.”

    Follow Mad Skillz on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: A-Trak: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

  • Watch: ‘Inside Turntablists’ Puts a Spotlight on DJ Soak

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    DJ soak
    DJ Soak (Credit: Boom City)

    Boom City has featured Spanish DJ/producer Soak on a new episode of their documentary series, Inside Turntablists.

    Soak is a two-time DMC Spain champion and the 2006 ITF vice world champion. He began competing in DJ battles at the age of 12 and won the ITF Spain title at 16 years old. In April, he released his debut EP Paradiso, which features his collaboration with Anderson .Paak titled “Run Away.”

    On the episode, Soak discusses how he got into turntablism, his DJ battle history, his approach to producing, and how his collab with .Paak came about.

    Watch the episode and a routine from Soak below.

    Related: Watch: ‘Inside Turntablists’ Puts a Spotlight on Jon1st

  • Watch: Marley Marl Talks Producing Electronic Music, Current State of Hip-Hop

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    Hip-hop legend Marley Marl recently down with the Drink Champs show for an extensive conversation.

    A key figure in the development of hip-hop, Marley is considered to be the first producer to sample and chop drums. His credits include some of the most iconic tracks from the hip-hop’s golden age, including LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin’,” Eric B. & Rakim’s “Eric B. Is President,” Biz Markie’s “Vapors,” and MC Shan’s “The Bridge.”

    Most of the interview focused on Marley’s career, but he also spoke about the current state of hip-hop.

    On the new generation of hip-hop:

    “I look at it is evolution … The people who don’t like what the young kids is doing, you too old. Because when I fell in love with what I was doing, I was about 18 years old, so whoever is 18 years old [is] probably falling in love with what they doing right now and that’s their sh#t.”

    On how he started out as an electronic music producer:

    “Before I started making hip-hop, I was making electronic music … That’s why I had the edge over everybody, because I was already tech savvy.”

    Watch the full convo above.

    Related: Watch: Inside DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2018 PLAYLIST Retreat

  • Watch: Diplo Interviews RL Grime

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    RL Grime is considered one of the pioneers of electronic trap music, influencing countless DJs and producers.

    One of those has been Diplo, who recently sat down with RL Grime for a candid and insightful conversation. The discussion focused on his career, touching on topics like why he transitioned from house music to trap, the impact of his anthem with What So Not, “Tell Me,” his influence on Diplo, and more.

    RL Grime on why he stopped producing house:

    “I was seeing a shift in that big room house stuff and how it was becoming corny to me, and I wasn’t inspired and didn’t wanna make it anymore. I’d been listening to a lot of James Blake and Night Slugs stuff and just walking around New York and decided to start a project in that vein.”

    Diplo on “Tell Me”:

    “That record for me seems to be the staple of this whole scene. It’s up there with the biggest dance records … that record still goes off.”

    Diplo on RL Grime’s influence on him:

    “A lot of times, the edits you play are songs I don’t even know. And I’ll play them on the respect that I have of you and knowing what you’re doing. … You’re one of my favorite tastemakers. You always have the best attitude and the best taste of what’s about to happen, what’s gonna happen.”

    Watch the convo above.

    Related: Diplo Talks Career and Current State of Music at Oxford University

  • Watch the First Episode of Damianito’s Red Bull Music 3Style IX Tour Documentary

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    The Red Bull Music 3Style IX national finals kicked off last Friday in Rome, Italy, the home of reigning world champion Damianito. The Italy final marked the start of the European leg of 3Style’s world tour, which ends in France on October 6 before heading to the Americas.

    Fittingly, Damianito is currently on the road with 3Style, serving as a judge and performer for each of the Euro finals. To show what his life on tour is like, the DJcity Italy representative has started a mini-documentary series.

    In the first episode, Damianito takes us behind-the-scenes at the Italy and Switzerland finals. He also discusses how difficult it is picking a winner.

    Watch it above.

    Related: Red Bull Music 3Style Reveals Locations and Dates for National Championships

  • Beyond Faithful: the Beef Behind the Hypest Record in DJ History

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    Be Faithful

    Whether or not you’re a DJ, chances are you’ve heard Fatman Scoop and Crooklyn Clan’s timeless anthem, “Be Faithful.” It’s a sure-fire party starter that gets played everywhere from clubs and stadiums to weddings and movies.

    EDM stars drop it in between choreographed hand-hearts. Even Australian Parliament members “throw they hands up” when the song comes on. I’ve been playing it for over 16 years, and it’s never failed. Not once.

    What many people don’t know is the story behind it and the on-going feud between Fatman and Crooklyn Clan member Sizzahandz. To shed light on the situation, the R.O.A.D. Podcast sat down with both of them to hear their sides of the story.

    Watch below:

    Listen to the full episode on SoundCloud

    Listen to the full episode on SoundCloud

    Related: TJR and Reece Low Enlist Fatman Scoop for Party Anthem, ‘Check This’

  • Borgore Talks DJing and Producing

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    Borgore at Temple in San Francisco on Aug. 3, 2018. (Source: Facebook)

    Borgore is a household name in the dance music scene. Whether he’s producing, DJing, singing, rapping, or shutting down festivals across the world, real name Yosef Asaf Borger stands as one of the most well-respected dubstep artists.

    Being the founder of Buygore Records and doing gigs all across the globe, he still manages to find time to test the waters and experiment with new sounds. Adventures in Time is his first jazz album, a pleasant surprise from his usual hard-hitting, head-banging, moshpit-friendly tunes.

    On day one of HARD Summer 2018, Borgore’s back-to-back set with Getter proved to be one of the most highly-anticipated acts on the bill. DJcity caught up with Borgore in his trailer after his performance, squeezing in the 10-minute time slot given by his management to accommodate his busy schedule. Before we begin the interview, he pours himself some Jameson, blaming it on the “long weekend” ahead.

    How does it feel to be back at HARD Summer without Destructo?

    I don’t think it affects me personally. He’s moved on to other things; he has big ventures. I don’t know what people know and don’t know, but HARD is something he built that was incredible. I’ve always really appreciated HARD. It was my first show where I was like “holy sh#t!” It was M.I.A., Die Antwoord, and me, a dubstep producer from a bedroom somewhere in Tel Aviv. I was just blown away. Destructo did amazing things, and the festival is still going.

    How was your set?

    Usually, I’m nervous, but HARD had me a little bit more nervous. There were so many different factors, including some serious competition on the other stages. The second thing was: I live in Los Angeles, so there’s a lot of friends and people I hang out with that come to see me. It becomes more personal. The third thing was: HARD was the first time Getter and I did a [back-to-back set], and it was on a big festival stage. We didn’t practice on a small festival stage. We went straight into headlining that stage. We wanted to practice and go over things, but we are both extremely busy. I was in Europe for two months before that show, so we couldn’t really hang out and work on it. Although we are really close friends, I wish we had more time to just chill. But all and all it was super fun.

    You’ve had features with everyone from Miley Cyrus to G-Eazy and Waka Flocka Flame. What do you look for in a feature?

    It’s like dogs. [laughs] I’m not very picky. I just love working with other people. Every singer is like a new instrument. They sound different. They bring something else to the table, so any collab for me is blessed. Whether it’s the biggest artist in the world or someone who just got his name, you can learn or do something with anyone. There’s a very small list of people that I wouldn’t work with, and I’m also not the type of person to throw shade. I’m not going to mention anyone, but in general, most people are more than welcome.

    With dubstep going back into the underground, do you feel you have to change your sound?

    It really depends where you’re playing. It depends on the venue, the crowd, and the country. You have to know the crowd. Before the set, I do my homework. If it’s a Las Vegas show, obviously I’ll play way more commercial. If it’s a Borgore show, then I’ll probably play the harder stuff.

    What are you playing in the club right now?

    My sets are kind of funny. I play the popular stuff like Britney Spears mixed with the gnarliest riddim drops. I like to play a lot of hip-hop mixed with like riddim, but then all of a sudden I’ll play a super commercial Steve Aoki song from 2012. I just play party music, but with a strong spice.

    Do you prefer playing clubs or festivals?

    It really depends on the club and it really depends on the festival. Some festivals can have the biggest crowd, but they can be people who randomly went to a festival. It’s kind of annoying to play for them because they don’t know what they’re listening to. At the same time, you can play a festival, and the crowd is the best f#cking crowd in the world. That sh#t — it’s a crazy experience. Clubs are, for the most part, safer for the DJ to have fun and explore. But then again, you can end up on a built-in crowd night, and you have to play a little safer. I personally prefer to play to an open-minded crowd rather than a crowd where I need to play certain songs.

    What’s your optimal setup when you perform?

    I like to use four Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS into a Pioneer DJM-900NXS most of the time. I don’t really care about the mixer, as long as it’s a Pioneer. And then two microphones. I’ll usually have an idea of a set on the two middle CDJs — just like a general playlist. I’ll play my set and all of a sudden I’m like, “Okay, they like this type of music.” So I start pulling songs from playlists on the two CDJs on the ends.

    What are three things you need in the studio?

    A computer, speakers, and a MIDI keyboard. [laughs] Because it’s really difficult for me to write music without being able to play it. I’m not so much of a “draw it with the mouse” guy. I’m more of a “play it” type guy.

    How has the music scene changed since you started?

    It’s growing in crazy ways. When I started, there was more of a UK dubstep boom in Europe and Israel. Then it came [to the US] with Skrillex, it was like the biggest thing. Then there was the whole big room, Martin Garrix, and all that sh#t. Then it changed into pop: The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, DJ Snake. Right now, we’re kind of waiting for the next wave. The electronic scene is chill because the music scene is mainly focused on SoundCloud hip-hop. As far as electronic music, it’s back in the underground. We will see what’s next.

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

    Related: Caked Up Remixes Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’: DJcity Exclusive

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  • Watch: Inside DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2018 PLAYLIST Retreat

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    DJ Jazzy Jeff
    DJ Jazzy Jeff at the PLAYLIST Retreat in Delaware in August 2018. (Credit: Julian Melanson)

    At the beginning of August, DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted the fourth annual PLAYLIST Retreat at his property in Delaware. The multi-day event brought together like-minded DJs, producers, and songwriters to network and collaborate.

    In attendance were legendary DJs like Z-Trip and Skratch Bastid, music producers such as Lord Finesse and DJ Khalil, and companies like Serato and Roland, among many others.

    Like previous years, the retreat featured a song making competition that grouped random artists into teams.

    Watch DJcityTV’s mini-documentary about the retreat below.

    Related: An Inside Look at DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2017 PLAYLIST Retreat

  • Red Bull Music 3Style Reveals Locations and Dates for National Championships

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    DJ MORENNODJ MORENNO at the Red Bull Music 3Style National Final in Rio de Janiero on Oct. 8, 2016. (Credit: Marcelo Maragni)

    After announcing the 2018 national finalists last week, Red Bull Music 3Style has revealed to DJcity the locations and dates of the competitions. This year, we see a mix of new and former national finalists competing for the title. Stay tuned for more exclusive 3Style coverage.


    Italy: Rome, Sept. 14
    Switzerland: Basel, Sept. 15
    Czech Republic: Prague, Sept. 21
    Poland: Poznań, Sept. 22
    UK: TBD, Sept. 26 or 27
    Germany: Munich, Oct. 2
    Netherlands: TBD, Oct. 4 or 5
    France: Nantes, Oct. 6


    Chile: Antofagasta, Oct. 11
    Brazil: Sao Paulo, Oct. 13
    Mexico: Mexico City, Oct. 15
    USA: Philadelphia, Oct. 17
    Argentina: Buenos Aires, Oct. 25
    Canada: TBD, TBD

    Asia and Africa

    South Africa: Cape Town, Nov. 1
    Lebanon: Beirut, Nov. 3
    Russia: Moscow, Nov. 10
    Thailand: TBD, TBD
    Philippines: Cebu, Nov. 17
    South Korea: Seoul, Nov. 22
    Japan: Fukuoka, Nov. 24
    Taiwan: Taipei, Nov. 28

    Related: Red Bull Music 3Style Reveals Finalists for National Championships

  • Watch: Spryte on How DJing Has Changed

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    Spryte, a veteran open format DJ and producer, has always been on the forefront of the art form. The Los Angeles-based DJ made a name for himself in the battle circuit, and currently tours the world as one-half of the duo Made Monster.

    While technology has played a role in Spryte’s success, he had proven his skills long before the digital revolution. On this episode of A Moment With, Spryte talks about how DJing has changed since he started, his current projects, and plans for the future.

    Watch above.

    Follow DJs Are Not Jukeboxes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.

    Follow DJ Spryte on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Watch: Grandtheft Talks DJing and Producing