The amount of slang that is part of the disc jockey’s world is immeasurable.
He works “the 1’s & 2’s”, “wheels of steel” or “1200s”. He “mixes” and “spins” his “wax”, using methods like “backspins”, “breakbeats” & “loops”.
His world has a language all it’s own.
Well here is another one you can add to the DJ’s glossary of terms: the turntablist.
Simply put the turntablist is an artist whose instrument(s) are two turntables and a mixer. No longer is the DJ viewed as someone who just strings songs together. They are looked upon as artists in their own right.
The last decade or so has seen music lovers develop an new-found appreciation for the fact that the DJ can be a driving force in creativity much the same way a singer or producer can. The hip-hop world has gone as far as to tag theDJ as ”the first element of hip-hop”, meaning that without the DJ all other life in the hip-hop world ceases to exist.
Big names like Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue, and (on the local level) 103 JAMZ wunderkind Joe Supa are often able to draw-more people to a venue than any artist out there. Turntablists like MTV’s DJ Skribbles have been known to command upwards of $l5K for a single nights work at some of urban America’s most famous hot spots.
Guys like DJ Clue, DJ Juice and DJ KaySlay have people in Atlanta and Houston feenin’ for their new mixtapes within days after they hit the streets of NewYork. You travel to the Midwest and even the west coast, though they’Il deny it, and you see hip-hop heads bouncin’ to, Clue’s “new shit, new shit!”
And it isn’t just the hip-hop world that’s feelin’ what’s going on. With the emergence of the rave
scene, for lack of another phrase, more of suburban America has come to understand what the person behind the music really means.
Doors that had previously been closed, if not locked entirely, to the true DJ have been opened by the prolific rise in the popularity of music like jungle, house,and trip-hop.
Qbert, DJ Rap, and Larry Lynx are some of the hardest working club spinners on the planet. They have been toiling away for the better part of ten years, working clubs, puttin’ out underground tapes, spreading the word so to speak on behalf of the music they love.
Their love of the music, and “the peaceful vibe the whole scene gives off” as Charissa Saverio (a.k.a. DJ Rap) puts it, finds them spending so much time in the clubs that they often have a hard time getting’ in the studio.
Saverio’s album Learning Curve took ten years to complete. But make no mistake, the studio is where the DJ has made huge leaps and bounds as of late. In a music world where the remix and the collaboration have dominated both the charts and the critical acclaim, in a time when the lines between genres have become blurred to the point they are often unrecognizable, the DJ has reached new heights.
And as such, stories like these have become a lot more common. Welcome to the revolution