Archives

20 Years Ago, The Beastie Boys Reminded Rap Fans That 3 MCs & 1 DJ Is A Winning Formula

1998 was a changing time for Hip-Hop. The attitude of the period was recovering from the killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Groups like The Fugees and A Tribe Called Quest separated for solo pursuits. Meanwhile Black Star emerged. Master P's No Limit Records led a marketing battalion that... Read more

Herbie Hancock Will Rock It With Kendrick, Snoop & Common On Next LP

Herbie Hancock is a 14-time Grammy Award recipient (as well as an Oscar winner) that many cite as a provider of their introduction to Hip-Hop and DJ'ing on television. Although the Jazz impresario's recording career began at the top of the '60s, Hip-Hop and Hancock helped each other achieve mainstream... 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

The Coup’s DJ Pam The Funkstress Has Passed Away

In an already challenging week, Hip-Hop has learned that it has lost another veteran artist. DJ Pam The Funkstress (aka Pamela Warren) has died. A founding member of The Coup, Pam would also work with Prince on tour in recent years. After surviving a critical surgery in the last month,... 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

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

“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

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

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

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

Kool Herc Knights DJ Scratch As A “Grandmaster” (Video)

DJ Kool Herc is credited with pioneering Hip-Hop music, through extending the break-beats during his early 1970s DJ sets. The Jamaican born man also known as Clive Campbell has made limited music over the 43 years since August 11, 1973 (the date honored in many circles as Hip-Hop's birthday). However,... 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

Vinyl Archeologists Will Dig This 1995 Demo Of Cut Chemist Turntablism (Audio)

In late 1998, Los Angeles, California's Jurassic 5 burst on the scene with a self-titled EP. First released on the Pan imprint, the 37-minute project would eventually be re-released through Interscope Records, as part of the major label's commitment to Underground Hip-Hop, which also included Eminem and Planet Asia. That... Read more

DJ Shadow Takes Turntablism From “Sideshow” To Hip-Hop’s Main Stage (Audio)

For more than 20 years, DJ Shadow has been a dependable source of turntable wizardry. More than simply a deft scratch DJ, the Northern California native is a top producer too—able to extract magic out of MCs and groups such as Blackalicious, Paris, David Banner, Phonte, and even Depeche Mode.... 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

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

This Feel-Good Lord Finesse Mix Is The Cure For The Post-Holiday Hangover

Let's face it, the first Monday of the new year can often be a drag. For many, this means (fully) back to work, often some challenging weather, and a long haul to the next reason to celebrate. The all knowing Lord Finesse seems to have forecast such a feeling. The... Read more

DJ QBert Massacres A Stack Of ’60s & ’70s Rare Groove Breaks (Mix)

DJ QBert is still on one. The longtime title-winning DJ follows up his April Hard Boiled Scrambled mix with a part two (joined by "DJ Rockit Rooster"). The Invizibl Skratch Piklz co-founder stays in the Rare Groove format, but seems to step a bit more into the '70s/formative Hip-Hop sound.... Read more

Do Remember: DJ QBert’s Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik (Mixtape)

Although he does not get nearly enough credit in mainstream Hip-Hop circles, DJ QBert is one of the proven masters within the culture. The San Francisco, California DJ/turntablist/producer born Richard Quitevis has advanced the possibility of the turntable, mixer, and scratch language beyond comprehension. The leader of the Invisibl Skratch... 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

Beat Junkies’ DJ Melo-D Makes An Ill Quick Mix Tribute To Big Daddy Kane (Audio)

Along with J. Rocc, Rhettmatic, and Babu, DJ Melo-D is one of the ferocious sets of wrists behind the Beat Junkies. The Los Angeles, California-based collective is one of the most skilled turntablist outfits of all-time, and boast ties to J Dilla, Ras Kass, and of course, Dilated Peoples to... 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

DJ Cash Money & DJ Scratch Rock The Bells, With Some Biz Markie Hilarity (Video)

Although he made one classic Hip-Hop single, Philadelphia's DJ Cash Money is a turntable innovator to the highest degree. Along with DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinbad, and DJ Code Money, Cash ushered in a Philly dominance in the scratching and mixing in the mid-late 1980s that's still up there with... 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