Philly DJ Making All the Right Moves
Philadelphia—If you were born in Philly, and got into hip hop in the late ’80s, among the first records that caught your attention were Salt-n-Pepa’s “Hot, Cool and Vicious,” and Kool Moe Dee’s “How Ya Like Me Now.” At least they were if you were Patrice McBride.
“I was too young to fully comprehend the lyrics,” says McBride, who tallies most of his gigs at Atlantic City and his Philly hometown, but is also making Vegas a stop. “But the beats and production instantly grabbed me. Before then, I was all into rock and screaming guitars, but the sonic quality of those albums was so cutting-edge and the beat-machine-produced drums was such a fresh, different sound to me, I was easily converted to hip hop.”
Why not? This was Philly, which breeds DJs, and besides, his two uncles, who he lived with growing up, were DJs and had a set-up in the house. Block parties were happening daily on every block in the neighborhood, each with its own DJ.
In fact, ask McBride about the first time he saw a DJ, and he’ll tell you he can’t remember a time when he didn’t see a DJ.
“I honestly can’t remember ever not seeing a DJ in my life,” he says. “So it’s hard for me to pinpoint the first time. I didn’t really find DJing—I grew up with it.”
It wasn’t until he was in middle school in Binghamton, N.Y., where he lived before moving back to Philly, that he got behind the decks. He remembers it well.
“The first party I ever DJed I played Kris Kross’ ‘Warm It Up,’ Cypress Hill’s ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ and LL’s ‘Around the Way Girl.’ They were a few of my choice cuts that evening, and watching my friends react to those songs, having a good time and loving what I was doing closed the deal for me. I was hooked on DJing after that.”
He vaguely remembers his set-up that night being two mismatched, hand-me-down, belt-drive turntables, and a beat-up Radio Shack mixer. “Not the best… is an understatement,” says McBride, who’s since graduated to a Serato Scratch Live/Rane TTM 57SL combo.