*** ill o.g. ***
DJ's were once the backbone of rap music. In the beginning, it was the DJ that got the show started and would rock block parties, eventually using breaks and learning to scratch. In the 1980's, the DMC (Disco Mix Club) first introduced the yearly DMC Mixing Championships, which quickly exploded and ushered in a wave of new DJ's ready to show their skills through scratching and beat juggling. In the mid-90's, DJ battles were popping up everywhere, in practically every city and giving local unknown DJ's a chance to prove themselves. Here's where things get crazy because somewhere along the way, it became customary for DJ's to do these things, which they need to stop.
1. Licking your fingers
I'm guilty of this, sure. It's hard to get a good grip on the vinyl most of the time, especially when you're beat juggling and need to move quickly back and forth between the two turntables. The problem is that usually your hands are not moist, so you need to keep them moist like in your pockets, or you could even buy some special DJ hand moistener product, it's true, it exists. If you don't do this, then all you're going to do is look stupid, plus you're giving the next DJ that comes on after you, herpes.
2. Giving the finger
When did this start? It's one thing if in the middle of your routine there's a part where you do some wordplay, dissing the other DJ's and then the record goes "FUCK YOU!!!" and you put up your middle finger. But I've seen DJ's do this in the middle of their set for no reason! I've seen some guys beat juggle just a regular break and when they go between, they give the finger. WTF. Don't do this. You look retarded because you're either giving the finger to:
- The crowd, which is not nice since they didn't do anything to you.
- The other DJ's, which make sense because you're battling, but it still looks like you're giving a big "FUCK YOU!!!" to the crowd.
I understand that you're trying to look like you're involved in your set by doing this, but I would much rather see you actually DOING SOMETHING on the turntables instead of just standing there flailing your arms around saying something, which leaves everyone wondering if you're reciting what's playing on the record, or your grocery list. Nobody cares, so if you do this you should just punch yourself in the face.
4. Wearing a baseball cap
For some reason, it seems like 90% of the battle DJ's out there wear baseball caps! Why is this? Are they all bald? Are they trying to hide their dandruff? Or does it make them look cool? Either way, it's okay to wear a cap, but when it seems like everyone is doing it, I think at least some of the DJ's should change it up. I mean, put on a beanie, or a cowboy hat. Even better, no hat! What's wrong with showing your skull?
5. Doing complex scratches
This has been the trend for the past 10 years. Ever since the Skratch Piklz first blew up and introduced everyone to massive amounts of scratching, it became too easy for everyone to learn how to pull off Crabs, Flares, and Orbits. The Crab is cool because it's simple, effective, and sounds dope. Once you get into Flares, Orbits and triple, quadruple Flares, then it becomes a little too much for most people. If you're pulling off scratches like this, hey props to you, but the only people that will enjoy those scratches are you and other scratch nerds. What happened to just having a good routine that sounded awesome?
6. Using the "Ahhh" and "Fresh" samples
OMG, this is huge. This one I can't stress enough - stop using "Ahhh" and "Fresh"!!! There's a reason why there's breakbeat ALBUMS out there, because there's tons of other samples you can scratch. I hate seeing a battle and every single fucking DJ scratches the same shit over and over! Make it a point NOT to scratch those sounds and find something else. Scratch a trumpet, a piano, hell, even someone farting is more pleasant. If I chugged a beer every time a DJ scratched "Ahhh" and "Fresh", my liver would have imploded a long, long, long time ago and I'd be dead right now and writing this from my grave.
7. Being too technical
Again, this has been the trend for years now and goes hand in hand with #5. I remember when DJ's routines were dope, funky, and were fun at the same time. That shit is long gone and now all these DJ's do is go crazy with the technical stuff, like using the up faders just to prove that they can, and doing stuff so complex that nobody, and I mean nobody can comprehend. This is probably the #1 reason why the DMC competition sucks nowadays because everyone is doing this, so there's no imagination left and no one can enjoy it. How can you compare a routine from Roc Raida, or DJ Noize to a routine by any of today's champions? You can't, it's not even on the same level. The old routines were just amazing and even old people could watch and enjoy it. Stop being so technical and trying to do Flares with the up fader, no one gives a shit. Just perform a good routine that sounds good!
8. Doing tricks/stunts even though you suck
When you're in a DJ competition, it can be stressful and intimidating, especially if you've never done it before. However, if you suck, you're out of luck. If you get on stage and perform your routine and nobody's feeling it, or even worse, if they're booing you, the only way to redeem yourself is if you slit your throat with a 12". Do not under any circumstances try to pull off tricks of any sort in order to redeem yourself.
I once saw a guy bomb so badly so at the end he stood ON THE TABLE and carefully lifted up the mixer, balanced on one leg, then tried to scratch the fader WITH HIS FOOT. 'Nuff said.