October 21, 2014

Qbert Wins, DJs Thank God, Allah, etc.

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Like a house on fire, the social media network is ablaze as news about Qbert’s victory in the “America’s Best DJ” contest takes flight. Reaction has been one of relief, since DJ Pauly D’s team of social media bunnies have been stuffing ballot boxes in the vote’s waning hours. The reaction to Pauly’s candidacy, has been, in a word, antagonistic. We haven’t seen such vitriol since we learned what the word vitriol means.

“I’m glad Qbert won,” says DJ Wyse. “It’s about time we recognize the art of skratching as an essential skill that defines the DJ culture.”

DJ Hollywood took slightly more delight in Pauly D losing. “Lol, Pauly D is butt hurt he didn’t win ABDJ...that’s because it’s not prom and it’s not about popularity—this is about talent, like BT, Kaskade, etc.”

“Thank God Qbert won!” said DJ Mo, a bit more emphatically.

Overwhelmingly, the positive response to Qbert’s ABDJ win has revolved around his generosity to the DJ culture. Qbert recently returned from his Shangri-La to speak with us.

So Q, has all the good scratch-DJ gear already been invented? There is an infinite variety of ideas yet to come into reality. For example, wouldn’t it be nice to DJ with a complete system in your pocket? And if you wanna get more crazy, what about a device that extracts the sounds you hear in your head? So with that said, we are still in the primitive age of music, but it’s still fun with what we have. I would also like to see more portable mixer/turntable hybrids like the QFO, but from different companies and even smaller, so while we are, let’s say, in a car traveling, or on a plane, we can easily get our cuts on.

What’s the most important skill for a DJ to learn? How to entertain the crowd. That includes reading the crowd, staying on beat, cleanliness, originality, professionalism, finesse, and music selection. It’s a broad spectrum of categories. But since I am a scratcher, I look to see the musicianship in a turntablist. I wanna hear phrasing, tone, syncopation, variety of rhythms, control of space and silence, all kinds of scratch techniques, and the message they are trying to convey with their scratching.

Which DJs impress you? Vajra, Rafik, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut, Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, Joe Cooley, Flare, Alladin, X-Ecutioners, Miyajima, Kouji, Ken One, Primo, Toad Style, Z-Trip, D-Styles, Radar, Scratch Perverts, A-Trak, Mr. Mixx, DJ Man, Mike Boogie, Idea, Toomp, Idee, Craze, Fly, Zinc, Netik, and the list goes on…

Your reaction to winning ABDJ? “This ABDJ Award is dedicated to all the Skratchers and true school hip hoppers out there!”

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