Sunday, May 12, 2013

DC DMC DJ Battle post thoughts

 Friday May 10th at U Street Music Hall was the place to be. It was the last regional battle before the US DJ Finals. Dj Bamboo and Dj Dozer came to my place from Pittsburgh to hang out and practice before the battle. Shortly After that my buddy Zema Ion came through. I was working on my sets and my 2 minute prelimary set was about as well practiced as it was going to get. If I was to make the top 6 to get into the finals I had a set that had been my worst nightmare due to all the speed change ups and the fact that I built the set two days before the battle. Keep in mind, some of the routines were recycles. I will just be straight up, I was way to nervous to try something new. It had been over ten years since I have entered a DMC contest. DMC is the cream of the crop as far as Battles go.

 As Soon as we get there, the first person I see is Christie Z who is the greatest DMC rep ever! The nerves were at an alltime high as reality set in. Slowly I would see monster dj after monster dj step into the club and it was like a Dj Reunion. It was so cool to see all the talented djs/good people pour in. Idee stepped up big as the host of the show and the Judges were all people that I have the utmost respect for. Idee also showcased the battle and his set just showed you why he is a champion and in my eyes, the best Dj the DC Battle scene has ever seen.

In the prelims, my two minute set was nerve racking. I had a small part where It didnt go exactly as smooth as I wanted but it had been a long time so for how nervous I was, I was still happy with what I did. In the prelims there were two stand outs in my opinion. Dj As One and Dj Throdown had 2 jaw dropping sets. I was so happy to seem them both shine the way they did! I remember the crowd giving me love during and after the set and that made me feel like a million dollars and calmed my nerves a bit.

Idee got on the mic and announced the top 6 and I put my head down because I REALLY wanted to be able to do that 6 minute set. My goal going into this battle was not to win, nor to place although that would be nice. Finally I hear my name, and when I heard that, I wanted to jump up and down like I won the lottery. I just smiled and walked into the back room to prepare my stuff for the 6 minute routine. While backstage I was kicking it talking to AsOne and Throdown and Molly from One Love Massive takes this pic of us.

Stepping on the stage I actually felt much better than the first round, even though my set was not completely nailed down and all the scratching at the end was just a freestyle. I could see my Gorilla Fist Clothiers squad in the crowd and that helped me a lot. Saw Scrilla, Obi 1, Waheed and several others just chillin in the crowd. Zema said "relax man, your with friends, All these people in the crowd are your friends". Man, that helped me so much!

When I started my set, I got into it from the jump, I was channeling my younger self at that point. I got to the section that was giving me issues and I nailed it. The crowd was really amping me up. I heard Idee say one minute left and I was scratch freestyling. I get to the end and cut out the beat, I scratch a vocal............ (Royce Da 4'9 saying) "Formerly known as the best kept secret I guess that I just Leaked it!" and powered down the turntables. I started smiling and to be honest, It was the best that I possibly could have done. I lip sync'd a thank you to the crowd. I heard Idee get in the mic while the crowd was cheering and I hear him just repeating "Uuuuhhhh Ohhhhh!!!!!" That was the best feeling I have felt in a long time.

The Results were
3rd Dirty Digits
2nd Throdown
1st As One

With that being said, I was happy about the results. I think the Judges (Dj Cheese, Dirty Hands, OZ, and Geometrix) did a great job and the right person won. Congrats to As One for his well deserved victory and Throdown from the runner up. Dirty Digits was dope and a really humble nice guy who I had never met before. He rocked real records btw..........

I didnt win, nor did I place, but I did win if you get my meaning. It was a huge victory for me. The courage, the goals being met, all of that. Mission Accomplished. I am enjoying the moment this weekend. Thank you everyone for your support as always.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Being a Dj Instructor at the Beat Refinery

I am an Instructor at the Beat Refinery in Herndon VA. I have been working there as an employee for over a year now. I teach beginning to advances levels of Mixing and Scratching and Ableton production. I have been a DJ since 1989. I have taught people over the years so I feel like I need to elaborate on what I see day in and day out. The first rule I have in my class is to have fun. The Second rule is to have discipline. The Biggest issue I have with society these days is that it seems the term hard work and practice is not fully utilized. This “give it to me now” online world we live in has made the normal attention span too short. There are some people who break this mold but it seems harder to find. I teach all ages so what I am about to say is not defined to one age. If you are taking classes with me and you have equipment at home, I will assign homework to you. I have some students who really utilize there spare time with doing this. I have one student who I call “T” who will not only do the homework but she branches out online watching youtube clips and online articles to make herself better. The result is that she is one of my best and fav students. I can see she has the true passion so practice is fun to her and not so much of a chore. I have a good friend named MUDD who taught me how to make beats. MUDD is my fav beat maker hands down, but I didn’t just listen to him. I branched out to several people and still do. When I learned to DJ, I learned from DJ Wolfe and Pauly Paul but I didn’t just take what they said. I study everyone. I am learning everyday. I may be an Instructor but I am far from the end all be all. I go to DJ Select to learn scratches ALL the time. With that being said, the Beat Refinery is the best source on the planet for learning things as a part of your platform to get you where you want to be in a short time frame. The Curriculum has been written buy some amazing Instructors and we teach in the correct order to learn things. We all have different teaching styles but we do follow a guide. The biggest thing I love about the Beat Refinery is that they post articles from other sources because the overall goal is to show people the correct way to DJ. The Beat Refinery is a business and with that being said, they still show different sources for learning. That is something that makes me Proud to work there. If you would like to take classes, you should check it out at Lets all expand beyond what we think is possible…………….. Peace, Ragz