Interview with ‘Scratch’ Creator Grand Wizard Theodore

Grand Wizard Theodore
Grand Wizard Theodore, the man credited for inventing the “scratch” and “needle drop,” recently spoke with the “Juan Epstein” podcast about his influential career and the history of DJing. The hour-long interview, which was hosted by Cipha Sounds, Peter Rosenberg and special guest DJ Scratch, is must-listen for those looking to expand their knowledge of DJ and hip-hop culture.

“My mentality was like: if I wanna get noticed, I have to do something different. I have to be different from all the other DJs.”


Here’s a breakdown of the topics covered:
06:00 – Involvement with Zulu Nation
07:10 – Introduction to hip-hop and DJing
08:30 – Invention of the needle drop and scratch
19:20 – Scratching in public for the first time
22:30 – Grandmaster Flash’s contributions to mixing
24:20 – Early forms of mixing and the introduction of the two turntable setup
28:00 – Early DJs who scratched that he admired
29:00 – Grand Mixer DXT’s introduction of scratching to the mainstream
38:10 – Having a day job and throwing parties at night
42:00 – How battles operated
54:30 – Teaching at Scratch DJ Academy in New York City
56:00 – His favorite DJs of all-time
58:20 – Touring with DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak and Craze
Related: Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore & Grand Mixer DXT Inducted Into Guitar Center’s RockWalk