Archives

J-Live Unleashes A Rapping & Scratching Routine With A Motown Classic (Audio)

J-Live is a true Hip-Hop multi-threat. He raps, he DJs, he produces, he runs a label, and he does so much more. The Brooklyn, New Yorker (who now calls Georgia home) sometimes demonstrates several talents at once. For those who have not seen a J show, they get a taste... Read more

Kid Capri Explains Why He Has Beef With Funkmaster Flex (Video)

Two of the most recognized names in DJ'ing, especially for those in and around the New York City area, are currently beefing. For those following social media, mixtape legend Kid Capri has minced no words in his opinions of Funkmaster Flex. Both men, who each claim Bronx, New York as... Read more

Class Is In Session As Rob Swift Delivers Keynote Speech At Indiana University (Video)

One of the forefathers of the turntablism movement, Rob Swift, gave a keynote speech on “research and teaching as it pertains to the art of DJing” at Indiana University this week. Rob is a co-founder of one of the most influential DJ crews of all time, the X-Ecutioners. That famed... Read more

Say It Ain’t So. DJ Cash Money Is Hanging Up His Turntables (Video)

DJ Cash Money is one of Hip-Hop's greatest innovators behind the wheels of steel. Today (November 7), after well over 30 years in the music and culture, the artist born Jerome Hewlett has announced that he has retired. "It's official...I'm out the game. Thank you guys for all of the... Read more

This ’96 Freestyle From Tribe, Busta, The Roots & More Packs Lines That Truly Punch (Audio)

The City of Brotherly Love has undoubtedly produced some of Hip-Hop's best MCs to ever grip the mic, and equally, some of the greatest DJs to touch the turntables. Legendary Philadelphia DJ Cash Money has an extensive resumé with memorable mixtapes to prove the latter. After making seminal 1980s 12"... Read more

Mista Sinista Reminds Why Hip-Hop Was Built By DJs. He Puts On An Amazing Display (Video)

Mista Sinista was a crucial part of the X-Ecutioners in the '90s and early 2000s. Alongside the late Roc Raida, as well as Rob Swift and Total Eclipse, the X-Men were real-life superheroes behind the turntables and mixers. Moreover, their 2002 Built From Scratch album on Loud Records brought turntablism... Read more

Grandmaster Flash Has A New Message And It’s Aimed At Kool Herc & Afrika Bambaataa (Video)

Earlier this month, Hip-Hop celebrated its 44th birthday. Just like holidays for some families and groups of friends, it was not without some drama. Fans may have missed it, but some legendary shots appeared to be thrown—by one of Hip-Hop's pioneers towards another one of its founding figureheads. The issue... Read more

Grandmaster Flash Calls Out Kool Herc’s DJ Skills In A Push For Peace (Video)

One week ago today, Hip-Hop celebrated its 44th birthday. That day is associated with an August 11 Bronx, New York party where DJ Kool Herc (aka Clive Campbell) prolonged the dance section of a record by using two turntables with copies of the same disc. For the event, an incredible... Read more

For The First Time, A Woman Has Won The National DMC DJ Championship

Since 1985 the DMC DJ Championships organization has named DJs representing a vast array of countries the winners of the competition, considered the preeminent battle in the world of turntablism. Roc Raida, Mixmaster Mike, Q-Bert, A-Trak, and Craze are just a few of the gifted disc jockeys to have walked away... Read more

RESPECT THE DJ: Rob Swift Speaks Out Against Those Who Should Not Be Called “DJ”

Words By DJ Rob Swift I started out as a fan first. I grew up around the art of DJing since I came out my mother’s womb. There hasn’t been a day in my life that I haven’t been exposed to the art form in some way, NOT ONE DAY.... Read more

“The Breaks” Is Returning For Another Season And Moving To A New Channel

This month, The Breaks aired its first season as an episodic show. Set at the top of the 1990s, the series follows the lives and movements of several young people trying to make it in the music industry. From DJ/producers, aspiring record execs, to radio, the show created by author... Read more

Rob Swift Shows Why “The Breaks” Is The Most Authentic TV Show About Hip-Hop

On April 10, The Breaks completed the airing of its first season as a series. What began as a 2016 film for television extended for eight 2017 episodes. With actor, artist and director Mack Wilds portraying "Daryl 'DeeVee' Van Putten, Jr." in the Vh1 show, the cast also includes Hip-Hop figures such... Read more

Just Blaze Makes Classic Breakbeats Sound Brand New In A Jamming Mini-Mix (Video)

Just Blaze is a producer's producer. The New Jersey native DJ-turned-beat creator has made hit records for Jay Z, Ghostface Killah, Fat Joe, and others using some of the same break-beats and samples that helped get Hip-Hop music started. Moreover, through work for Fabolous, Freeway, and Saigon, Just has brought... Read more

Scram Jones Speaks Against The President Through Party-Rocking Turntablism (Video)

Scram Jones is a bona fide Hip-Hop veteran. The New Yorker has produced tracks for Raekwon, The LOX, and Ghostface Killah (as well as Mariah Carey), among many others. Moreover, he's a highly-respected DJ, from rocking clubs, mixtapes, concerts, and his post on Shade 45. Oh yeah, this 2002 "Unsigned... Read more

Swizz Beatz Premieres A New Song Featuring Nas, Jay Z, DMX & Jadakiss And It’s Unreal (Video)

Note: To hear the track, skip to 2:27:15 in the long video, or play the short clip just below. Although they have both reached G.O.A.T. status among Hip-Hop producers, with catalogs of hits rivaled by few, at their cores, Just Blaze and Swizz Beatz are still DJs too. With nothing... Read more

Just Blaze & Swizz Beatz Have A Beat Battle For The Ages. Watch The Masters Work (Video)

Note: To hear the track, skip to 2:27:15 of the video. Although they have both reached G.O.A.T. status among Hip-Hop producers, with catalogs of hits rivaled by few, at their cores, Just Blaze and Swizz Beatz are still DJs too. With nothing left to prove behind the boards, each now... Read more

Statik Selektah Is A Highly Regarded Producer. But He’s Still One Mean DJ Too. (Video)

In the mid-2010s, Statik Selektah is a deeply respected producer. From some of the highlights of Joey Bada$$'s B4.Da.$$ to Eminem and company's "Detroit Vs. Everybody," to his own incredible album catalog, the ShowOff Records founder is highly sought out, and one of Hip-Hop's most prolific creators. As Statik's career... Read more

Kool Keith, QBert & Dan The Automator Will Perform Dr. Octagon Live For The First Time

In 1996, Kool Keith and his career were at a crossroads. For the last decade, the Bronx, New Yorker had been pushing the envelope of technical rhyme patterns, cadences, and crafty lyricism as the defacto figurehead of the Ultramagnetic MC's. As the group would disband for hiatus (resuming a decade... Read more

In Observance Of National DJ Day, DJ Scratch Rocks The Bells With Body Tricks (Video)

DJ Scratch was recently knighted as "Grandmaster" by Kool Herc for a reason. The longtime DJ for EPMD and Flipmode Squad, who has become a highly accomplished producer has been at the peak of his craft for nearly 30 years. For a HOT 97 segment with DJ Enuff in honor... Read more

The Turntable Hip-Hop Made Famous Has Scratched The Culture That Built It

The Technics 1200s turntable is one of the tools of the Hip-Hop trade. Introduced in October of 1972, the SL-1200 has grown step-by-step with the musical culture credited with a birthday less than one year apart (August 11, 1973). Over the years, more than three-million units have sold, many in... Read more

Tony Touch Makes A Moving Tribute Mix Dedicated To The Artists We Lost In 2016 (Audio)

2016 has been something else. While there has definitely been good in the year that's finishing out this weekend, there has been a lot of shock and awe in between. In the art world, music lovers lost more than a few icons. None of these deaths seemed to come as... Read more

Snoop Dogg DJs A 2 Hour Tribute Mix For 20 Years Of “Tha Doggfather”

This weekend, Snoop Dogg's sophomore album Tha Doggfather celebrated its 20th anniversary. The LP was significant in Snoop's career in that it was his first foray without mentor Dr. Dre behind the boards, and it would be his final Death Row Records release while still at the then reigning label.... Read more

Grandmaster Flash Educates & Demonstrates Pioneer DJ Techniques (Video)

If not for the work of pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, Hip-Hop would not be on radio today. Long before strong signals were freely broadcasting cutting, scratching, and Rap music into the universe, DJs were transmitting live in the parks, house parties, and New York City clubs in the mid-1970s. That... Read more

A Founding X-Ecutioner Moves The Crowd With Dance Hits That Can’t Be Faded (Mix)

Mista Sinista (f/k/a Joe Sinista) made a name for himself working as an elite scratch-master alongside Common, the Beatnuts, and dead prez. Since 1989, the DJ/turntablist (and onetime MC) was part of X-Ecutioners, alongside the late Roc Raida, Rob Swift, and DJ Total Eclipse. There, the group would become mix... Read more

Invisibl Skratch Piklz Are Releasing Their First Studio Album Ever (Video)

For more than 25 years, Northern California has been an epicenter for turntablism long before the term even existed. Labels like Bomb Hip-Hop put out compilations that celebrated scratching, mixing, and juggling in ways that took the DJ from a featured player in 1980s and 1990s commercial Rap music, and... Read more

The Coup’s Pam The Funkstress Explains Working With Prince On Tour

Although she may not be a household name, Pam The Funkstress is one of Hip-Hop's most acclaimed female DJs. Since 1993's Kill My Landlord, the San Mateo, California native has been riding alongside Boots Riley as one of the steadfast members of Oakland's 20-plus-year political Rap outfit The Coup. From... Read more

Rakim May Be The God MC But He’s A Devil On The Turntables. This. Is. Hip-Hop (Video)

If you read ego trip's Book Of Rap Lists, and bluntly speaking, all Heads should, page 52 has a great list of MCs with supreme DJ skills. Rakim, often revered as one of—if not thee greatest rapper—proves himself to be one such double-threat. Recently, the Long Island, New York legend... Read more

Step Inside The Mind of Earl Sweatshirt With A Wildly Diverse DJ Set (Video)

Earl Sweatshirt is the latest to play a DJ set for Boiler Room. Performing under the alias "Earl Fletcher" at Babylon Skate Shop in Los Angeles, the Odd Future member's set is truly all over the place. Some may see it as a sprawling mess. For others, it is a... Read more

QBert, DJ Premier, Jazzy Jeff Speak On Evolution & Pressures Of DJs In Doc Trailer (Video)

Films like 2001's Scratch have covered the role of DJs in Hip-Hop music's genesis. However, the artist who uses turntables and mixers to create, alter, and present music live spans across genre. Soundtrack: The Story of the DJ is a forthcoming film that examines the mix-master. The film, made by... Read more

Public Enemy Affiliate Johnny Juice Blends Bruce Lee Samples With Raw Hip-Hop (Audio)

DJ Johnny Juice Rosado has been a critical role-player in Hip-Hop music for nearly 30 years. In addition to his own career and vast production credentials (Son Of Bazerk, On The Shoulders Of Giants, etc.), Juice was a session DJ and turntablist and integral behind-the scenes-player with Public Enemy through... Read more

Edo G., M-Dot & Singapore Kane Bring Back The Rap Salute To DJs (Audio)

From Gang Starr to EPMD, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince to Run-D.M.C., Lords Of The Underground to LL Cool J, the DJ salutation was once a Hip-Hop institution. In 2015, DJs attached to Rap groups are a bygone trend, and with that, these songs are harder to find.... Read more

DJ Premier Recreates Gang Starr’s “Who’s Gonna Take The Weight”…On The Spot (Video)

Earlier this month, DJ Premier joined Royce Da 5'9" and Adrian Younge for the first concert with all three PRhyme members. The October 13 Gramercy Theatre event also marked PRhyme's first public New York City show. AFH was in the building to catch the historic moment, which also included Younge's... Read more

40 DJs Come Together To Scratch, Including Jazzy Jeff, QBert, Craze & Z-Trip (Video)

These days, Hip-Hop loves a good cypher. MCs coming together to collaborate in the moment - a balance of competition and cohesion. But what about the DJs? The Red Bull Music Academy recently assembled 40 of the world's best DJs, and asked them to plug in, together at the academy's... Read more

DJ Quik Pitches In On A Rolling Skate Party In This “Fonky” DJ Set (Video)

Before he was rapping and producing, DJ Quik was a top mixmaster from Compton, California. In the nearly 30 years since getting career launched, Heads have become well acquainted with the smooth (sometimes belligerent) raps from David Blake, and his funky grooves behind the boards. What not all get access... Read more

Turntables Might Wobble, But They Don’t Fall Down… Technics Returns

The Technics turntable is one of Hip-Hop music's most iconic symbols. As old as the culture and genre itself, these direct-drive tables are famously sturdy, regardless of low-end bass vibrations, an explosive moving crowd, or heavy-handed DJs cutting back and forth the records. Durable, dependable, and incredibly sleek, it is... Read more

J-Live Freestyles Heat While Scratching A Loop On The Turntables (Audio)

Throughout his 20-year career, J-Live has been a triple threat. The MC, DJ, and producer named his label (for a while in the 2000s, at least) after his vast gifts. In the live show, and at select times on albums, the Brooklyn, New Yorker stood behind the turntables and kicked... Read more

Wonder What A 1977 New York City Park Jam Sounded Like? Press Play… (Mix)

Bringing the earliest days of Hip-Hop to the digital age is a challenge. While DJ Kool Herc, DJ Red Alert, and Grandmaster Melle Mel (among many others) are highly active in telling the story, and presenting the culture they helped create, other things are harder to find. Pioneering DJs like... Read more

Breakbeat Lou Is A Digging Pioneer. He Spins Run-DMC, James Brown & Snoop Dogg (Mix)

Long before Heads could go digging in the crates with two tabs of YouTube, Louis "Breakbeat Lou" Flores was a trusted source of dusty-sonic knowledge. One of the creators of the Ultimate Breaks & Beats compilation series, the New York City native helped take deep cuts by Dennis Coffey, ESG,... Read more

Chuck Chillout Spins De La Soul, Gang Starr, MC Lyte & EPMD in a 1988 Mix (Audio)

The late Mr. Magic is widely considered one of Hip-Hop's greatest radio mix-masters. DJ Marley Marl's mentor dropped the needle on seminal records in the late 1970s, throughout the 1980s, and the early 1990s, helping give many Heads would-be classic songs that he personally deemed important. The same week boogieknight... Read more

Built 4 Cuban Links…Questlove DJs In Havana With Culture Sharing In Mind

In global news, it was announced today via a spokesperson for The Roots that Questlove has recently returned from two DJ nights in Havana, Cuba. The Roots drummer/producer/DJ appeared on April 16 and 17 at FAC, an old factory in the Vedado section of the capital city. "It’s always been... Read more

Was 1980s New York The Greatest Age Of Hip-Hop On Radio? (Video)

In the upcoming (April 22) Revolutions On Air: The Golden Era of New York Radio (1980 – 1988), Red Bull Music Academy takes us way, way back to the early days to witness a crazy time in New York City when things were really happening and a new culture was... Read more

Skillz Shuts Down The Competition With A Freestyle WHILE DJ’ing (Video)

Most Heads know that Skillz is a microphone monster. But did you know that the Virginia native is a sharp DJ too? After years of rolling with DJ Jazzy Jeff on the road, the onetime Rawkus Records artist returns to Sway In The Morning for a second straight day. After... Read more

Pete Rock Takes A New DJ Residency In New York City, Spinning Rare Grooves

Sometimes Hip-Hop lives all around us... Today (November 6), Pete Rock announced his DJ residency in New York City. This brings the iconic producer/DJ to live audiences monthly, a true reminder of legends working all around us. Moreover, Soul Brother #1 is bringing some of his own inspirations with him.... Read more

DJ Craze Is A DMC World Champion Turntablist. Check His Kanye West New Slaves Routine (Video)

If you've seen the film Scratch, you're up on DJ Craze. The Miami, Florida-based DJ is featured amidst competition. Around the time of the Doug Pray film's production, Craze was an undisputed king of turntablism, winning the DMC World Championships in 1999, 2000, and 2001. In 1998, he was also... Read more

Cuttin’ & Scratchin’ With Cassette Tapes? Here’s How… (Video)

One of the best things about vinyl in the pre-Serato age is that it can be maneuvered. Whether you're of Rob Swift or Roc Raida (R.I.P) skill, or your a bedroom DJ looking to learn how to make your first zigga-zigga's, vinyl is hands-on and tempting to any technician. In... Read more

Black Milk Plays An Hour-Long Set Of His Futuristic Funk (Video)

Boiler Room DJ sets are great opportunities to test versatile artists in new mediums. Whether Madlib, Pete Rock, or Erykah Badu, all are capable of traditional sets that include bands, microphones, and LCD screens. This medium allows producers in particular to sequence their own productions and projects into a concert,... Read more

DJ Jazzy Jeff Shows The Link Between DJ’ing & Technology, Visits Sway In The Morning (Video)

In the newest episode of DJ Jazzy Jeff's Vinyl Destination, the A Touch Of Jazz crew hits the Bay area, one of the basins for technology. There, in the backyard of DJ Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike, and Shortkut, the clique discusses how the innovations on the turntable over the last 30... Read more

Wild Style (Video)

As we continue our all day celebration of Hip-Hop on the weekend of its 40th Anniversary, it is only fitting that we celebrate Wild Style, a 1983 film produced by Hip-Hop pioneer Charlie Ahearn that was the first glimpse of Hip-Hop culture for many of those not living and breathing... Read more

Bobbito Garcia (aka DJ Cucumber Slice) Guest DJs on the Sway in the Morning Show (Mix)

Legendary hip-hop personality Bobbito Garcia put on nothing short of a HIP-HOP CLINIC on the Sway in the Morning show. As a guest DJ, Bobbito (aka DJ Cucumber Slice) played a treasure trove of break beats and original songs that have been sampled on various hip-hop classics (all vinyl...). You... Read more

Rapsody – Everlasting

Rapsody is gearing up for the release of her collaborative effort with Atlanta's own DJ Drama, She Got Game. Check out "Everlasting," which is the lead single off the project. Related: UNITY: A salute to the women of hip-hop (Video Playlist)... Read more