Documentary

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

DJ Jazzy Jeff
DJ Jazzy Jeff takes a group selfie at his PLAYLIST Retreat in Delaware. (Photo credit: Julian Melanson)

Last week, DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted his third annual PLAYLIST Retreat at his estate in Delaware. The invite-only event brought together like-minded DJs, producers, and songwriters to collaborate and network.

This year’s retreat was the biggest yet and featured acclaimed names such as J. Cole, DJ Dahi, Mr. Carmack, Lord Finesse, Young Guru, Z-Trip, Peanut Butter Wolf, and Skratch Bastid.

There were a variety activities, including a producer challenge in which artists were randomly grouped into teams and tasked with making a track.

DJcity was invited to the event and captured it on video. Watch below.

Related: Watch DJ Jazzy Jeff’s ‘Boiler Room’ Set

Watch Vice’s Mini-Documentary on 10-Year-Old Dextrous One

Dexterous One

In 2013, Brandan Duke, a.k.a. Dextrous One, set the Guinness World Record for Youngest Club DJ. He achieved the feat by performing for a crowd of eight thousand at just six years old. Now, the 10-year-old is aiming to be the world’s youngest professional music producer.

VICE Canada caught up with him at his home in Ontario to learn more about his background as a DJ and foray into producing. Watch above.

Related: 11-Year-Old DJs Amira & Kayla Featured on Fallon

Dr. Dre Recalls His Early Days as a DJ

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre on The Defiant Ones

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s highly-anticipated documentary The Defiant Ones is now airing on HBO. The four-part series traces both of their careers along with their 20-plus-year partnership.

On the first episode, Dre recalls his beginnings as a DJ.

How he got into DJing:

“There was a club in the neighborhood called Eve After Dark. One of my uncles was a bouncer at this club, and he snuck me in one night, and Kurtis Blow was performing. And his little brother, Davy DMX, he was the DJ. This [was] the first time in my life that I saw scratching. It just f#cked me up. I knew that this was my calling. There was a friend of mine, and he put together two turntables, and he used a balance knob to be able to go from turntable to turntable. I started [DJing], and I just fell in love with it.”

His first mixer:

“My mom bought me a Numark [DM]1150 mixer [for Christmas]; I [had] the ability to make tapes. [It was] one of the best gifts I ever got in my life.”

Making mixtapes:

“One of the first times that I performed for an audience was in Eazy-E’s backyard after a block party. Next thing I know, all the kids in the neighborhood were coming over to my house to get their tape. I would shout your name out on the tape, or you could talk on your own tape. This was the first way I started hustling and making money.”

Watch the trailer for The Defiant Ones below.

Related: Jimmy Iovine Recalls Hearing Dr. Dre for the First Time

Watch Kronic’s ‘Long Story Short’ Documentary

Kronic has become one of the most versatile DJs/producers from Australia. Earlier this year, his track “Push” with Far East Movement and Savage was featured in the Fast & Furious 8 trailer during the halftime broadcast of the Super Bowl. Today, the Gold Coast native has released a documentary titled Long Story Short to discuss his career journey.

Shot and produced by DJcityTV‘s Creative Director Julian Melanson, the video shows Kronic talking about his start as a DJ, moving to Los Angeles, and working with artists like Pitbull, Lil Jon, and Austin Mahone.

To accompany the documentary, Kronic has also shared a Long Story Short playlist on Spotify. Watch the four-minute video above and check out the playlist below.

Related: Australia’s Kronic Drops DJcity Podcast Mix

The Art of DJing, According to Dance Pioneers

Roger Sanchez

Roger Sanchez
Roger Sanchez (photo source: Facebook)

A new documentary from UK label Toolroom Records has put a spotlight on the art and evolution of DJing from the perspective of dance music pioneers.

The video features commentary from legends Andy C, Roger Sanchez, Danny Tenaglia, and Toolroom founder, Mark Knight. It also includes DJ Mag’s editor, Carl Loben.

The documentary opens with Roger Sanchez discussing what it means to be a DJ.

“DJing isn’t just about, you know, ‘I wanna see hands up in the air all night.’ It’s about creating a journey; it’s about telling a story, it’s about musically moving people from one vibe to another.”

Mark Knight adds, “Some of the guys that really influenced me back in the day were guys like CJ Mackintosh, Masters at Work, Tony Humphries. They really had the ability to go into a room, evaluate the mood and the vibe of the room, engage with people, and really manipulate the energy and the steer of the night and that really resonated and stuck with me.”

The DJs also discuss how the art has changed over the years.

“A lot of the new DJs are producers,” Andy C says. “They make tunes and so they have to go out and play them [sic] tunes. I come from an era where I went out to buy records and would camp out in the record store every day.”

Sanchez points out that the dance scene, like hip-hop, had an open-format beginning.

“There was so many different types of music that would just fall under what you’d play in a club. It’d be everything from soul, funk, disco, jazz, as long as it worked on the floor, we used to put it in the mix.”

The transition from “marathon sets” to shorter headline performances was another significant change in the scene, according to the DJs. It’s a recurring topic throughout the documentary.

“…you’re obligated when you’re booked as a headline act [nowadays] to go in and give people what they want,” Knight says. “But I really feel that the art of DJing, in its purest form, is much more than that, is much more than being a jukebox. It’s an expression of what you’re about musically, especially if you make music and you’re a producer. It’s the opportunity to go into a room and say to people, ‘This is what I’m about, from here to here.’ And that is very hard to do in within two hours…”

Watch the full documentary below.

Related: Grandmaster Flash: Technology Is a Gift and a Curse

Watch J. Cole’s ‘Eyez’ Documentary

J. Cole

4 Your Eyez Only
The cover art for J. Cole’s upcoming album, 4 Your Eyez Only.

On Thursday, J. Cole announced he will be dropping a new album called 4 Your Eyez Only on December 9. It is the follow-up to his 2014 double platinum album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

Today, the North Carolina rapper released a behind-the-scenes documentary called Eyez. The 40-minute video serves as a preview of his highly anticipated upcoming project.

Released exclusively on Tidal, Eyez takes viewers on a journey through Cole’s life over the past two years. It includes studio footage of him recording unreleased tracks, which presumably will appear on the album.

Watch the documentary below.

This article was written by Hugo Pacheco.

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