TM                  Freestyle music             Latin Freestyle music           Jamaican Reggae snd Dancehall music        DJ for events and parties

Hip Hop      Vinyl DJ

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Get into the mix . . .

THE DJ CULTURE

What is DJ culture? DJ culture is EVERYTHING that has to do with the disc jockey realm: turntables, vinyl, mixing, scratching, throwing parties, etc . . . 


​     Professional DJs have invested a lot of time, money, blood, sweat, and tears into mastering their craft. They've immersed themselves into the DJ culture. Consider the sacrifices, price, and challenges a person has to undertake to be a DJ: The vast majority of them didn't start out rich or wealthy. However, they spent whatever money they may have had on equipment, records, wires, and all the other necessities in order to become a professional disc jockey. They did it solely out of love for the art. DJing is an expensive artform. Back in the 1990s, the industry standard turntable (Technics 1200) cost at least $500 each. Keep in mind that a DJ needs two of these. Next you're going to need a mixer, a microphone, at least two loud and powerful speakers, two monitor speakers, DJ headphones, an amp, equipment cases, cartridges and replacement styluses, slip mats, a table, record carrying cases, record cleaner, and transport equipment (dollies and carts). Yes, all this stuff is seriously expensive (and I haven't even mentioned a van/truck, special effects such as party lights and fog machines, or all the other costs of running a DJ business). The point is that it takes a lot to become a professional DJ.
     Now let's talk about music. A decent music collection consists of 1000-1500 records minimum. Keep in mind that a 12 inch single costs around $6.99 and an LP costs around $18.99. Do the math and you'll see that the music alone can cost a hefty sum. That's just the dollar amount, keep in mind that you still need to actually find the record and then purchase it. Good luck with that! Paying for records is the easy part. Actually finding the right records is a whole 'nother story. You can't just walk to your local neighborhood music shop and expect to get what you're looking for. That's not how it works. Records are scattered all over the planet. As a DJ, it's your responsibility to find the records and acquire them. Yes, it's extremely difficult and everybody is not cut out for this. Sometimes, vinyl's price can be much higher than it's original price if the seller chooses to raise it.

     Besides the monetary costs of becoming a professional DJ, there's the actual learning process. Having the best equipment and the greatest record collection won't make you a good DJ. Practice is the key. You must learn how to DJ. This means mixing, blending, scratching, beat matching, etc . . . This takes practice, patience, persistence, and commitment to learning the skills needed. It won't happen overnight, I guarantee it. After a while, your behavior begins to resemble that of a monk: your faith, devotion, spirituality, and culture become that of the sacred 'DJ'. It almost turns into something like a religion. As time goes on, with practice, you'll develop your own unique style. A DJ must have his or her own unique style. This is what distinguishes him/her from the rest. 

     Just because someone calls themself a "DJ", it doesn't necessarily mean that they are in fact an actual DJ. I may be able to cook some food and prepare some meals. Does that make me a chef? Of course not. The same logic can be used for people who get some piece of equipment, laptop, or other convenient device and suddenly believe that they're DJs. Come on. It's insulting to the people who have been DJs for real and made all those sacrifices in order to earn the right to hold the title. It's like they're trying to take a shortcut or something. Real DJs can spot a wack, fake DJ from four miles away. The point is that there's hordes of people out there calling themselves "DJs" who don't quite meet the standard of what a DJ really is. The reality is that good, authentic, experienced, and professional DJs are in the minority.

     It takes real serious grinding and hustling to become a good DJ. Hard work is what will make a DJ successful. An important thing to remember is to always keep everything legal. Back in the days, things were different. Everybody wasn't calling themselves a "DJ". The situation today is kind of depressing because so many people with so little talent and knowledge are using a title which should be reserved for the authentic few. The title of 'DJ' used to mean something special before everybody with a laptop or controller began calling themselves a "DJ". The fact of the matter is that at least 50% of these people are not real DJs. Instead, they're hijacking a respectable culture, way of life, and trade. Sometimes it's deliberate and sometimes it's unintentional. Either way, DJing is not meant for everybody. Only the few who work really hard to master the craft the way that it truly supposed to be.

       

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TM