The Harlem turntablist showed off his skills in a 15-minute routine that used mostly classic hip-hop tracks and breakbeats.
Watch it above.
The former X-Ecutioners member threw down an extended, DMC-style set, using original vinyl for part of it.
Swift currently serves as a music consultant and scene choreographer for VH1’s drama series, The Breaks. He’s also a DJ instructor at The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City.
Watch the video above.
While he’s best known for his productions, Blaze put his DJ skills on display in an extended 12-minute set. The New Jersey native scratched and juggled his way through some of hip-hop’s most classic breakbeats.
“5 Minutes of Funk” is a new series that showcases talented DJs. Previous guests include Scram Jones, DJ Fatfingaz, and Statik Selektah.
Similar to Flex’s “Freestyle” series for rappers, “5 Minutes of Funk” gives DJs the opportunity to show off their skills. Previous guests include Statik Selektah and DJ Fatfingaz.
Scram began his scratch-heavy set with throwbacks, including a tone play of Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express.” Then, after dropping newer hip-hop tracks, Scram finished with a political statement, using DJ Primetyme’s edit of YG and Nipsey Hussle’s “FDT Part 2.”
Watch the video above.
Grandmaster Flash (credit: grandmasterflash.com)
DJ and hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash recently gave a lecture at New York’s Hot 97 on the development of hip-hop DJing. The presentation came just one week after the debut of The Get Down, a new Netflix series that explores the rise of hip-hop in the late ’70s.
The hour-long lecture focused on Flash’s technical contributions to hip-hop DJing, including the “peek-a-boo” system, which combined a microphone mixer, preamps, and a studio mixer. As Scratch DJ Academy’s book On the Record states: “this new setup enabled [Grandmaster Flash] to preview the combined sound of two records through headphones before it went through the speakers.”
Flash also explained and demonstrated his “quick mix theory,” which was made possible by the peek-a-boo system. Quick mixing enabled Flash to extend the drum break of a song indefinitely so that crowd could keep dancing to it. The technique was not only a major advancement in hip-hop DJing but led to the development of rap music.
While the innovations that Flash discussed were introduced over 30 years ago, they are still considered standard DJing techniques today.
Watch the full video below.
– Some of the most famous samples in hip-hop history (7:00)
– Discovering that the conical stylus is the best type of needle for DJing (13:10)
– Inventing the slipmat (15:10)
– Discovering that the Technics SL-23 was the best turntable at the time for DJing (17:50)
– Inventing the “peek-a-boo” system (21:00)
– His fascination for electronics as a child (22:50)
– Inventing the “clock theory” and “quick mix theory” (28:00)
– Embracing the latest DJ technology (34:00)
– Mentoring Grand Wizzard Theodore, who is credited as the inventor of scratching (36:50)
– Demonstrating his “quick mix theory” and finger drumming with the “beatbox” (42:00)
– The story behind the beatbox (52:00)
Related: Hot 97 Honors Grandmaster Flash
A-Trak sees the light. (photo source: Facebook)
A-Trak stopped by Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show earlier this week to chat about Fool’s Gold’s Day Off festival, which kicks off on Friday. The influential DJ also discussed other topics, including the current state of DJing and his upcoming competition, which he announced in May on DJcity’s MikiDz Show.
When asked what he thinks about the current state of DJing, A-Trak said:
“DJing as a phenomenon is bigger than ever, but there’s kinda this paradox where a lot of people don’t even really know what DJing is, it’s just that everyone knows that there’s DJs. DJs are out there, they’re playing these big stages, they’re on billboards, they’re in ad campaigns. What do they really do? A lot of people are not sure. So I kinda take it upon myself to put out a lot of information about DJing. And even just on my Instagram page, I’ll write texts about the scene, I’ll put up videos of myself scratching.”
He added that he sees the benefit of using different tools for different jobs:
“I’ll use CDJs if that’s the best thing for the conditions. If I’m playing like an outdoor festival with crazy sun or wind, I’m not gonna stubbornly use my Technics [1200 turntables] out of principal and deal with like wind and melting vinyl.”
Overall, A-Trak said his open mind towards DJing also applies to music:
“I like to find value in everything around me. I never hate on a scene. I never hate on a genre . . . For me it’s about finding the good stuff.”
He also discussed the motivation behind his upcoming DJ and producer competition:
“It’s important to me to insert [turntablism] into the current music scene because somehow I think turntablism and this sort of technical branch of battle DJing, somehow kinda stayed to the side. It hasn’t fully coexisted with a lot of the new music . . . I know it can all work together.”
Watch the full conversation below and check out the lineup for the Day Off festival here.
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