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Brooklyn DJ Esquire Took US Title In Heated, High Caliber 2013 US DMC Finals DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2013 11:06pm | Post a Comment

DJ Esquire took the 2013 US DMC Finals title over the weekend in New York at a packed Stage 48  nightclub with DJs Spare Change and Ease taking second and third places respectively in an entertaining evening that featured inspired six minute sets by each of the 13 US contestants, event host Kool DJ Red Alert providing funny banter, great sets by the special guest performer DJs Rockin Rob, Johnny Juice, and DJ Izoh, plus a surprise moment of true turntablist romance when New Mexico contestant OHM proposed to his girlfriend.

New York City DJ Esquire became a hometown hero Saturday night at the Hells Kitchen district club when garnered the most votes to take the new title at the 2013 US DMC Finals following a heated, high caliber DJ battle featuring 13 turntable talents from all across the country,. This achievement, that he earned despite his needle breaking toward the end of his intense six minute routine, means that the Brooklyn DJ will travel to London, England to represent the US in the DMC World DJ Championship 2013 finals on October 5th. Saturday night's talent-packed battle presented somewhat of a dilemma for all the judges, myself included, since the talent was so great that it was incredibly tough in making that final decision of narrowing it down to just three DJs. Truth is that each of the other ten DJ contestants also delivered incredibly impressive sets and, it could be argued, that any one of them deserved to have ranked in the final three. I was not alone in this summation since, after the battle, talking to such fellow judges as Roli Rho, DJ Cheese, DJ Shiftee, and Snayk Eyez - all of whom had chosen different top threes - the consensus was that it was too challenging task to narrow it down to a top three. Snayk Eyez summed the battle and the content of the competitors up best when he noted how each competitor was 100% on their game with their skills down to perfection meaning that then, "It all came down to delivery, presentation, showmanship," said the visiting Bay Area DJ/judge. 

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DJ Quest: May 2013 Amoeblog Interview

Posted by Billyjam, May 9, 2013 02:38pm | Post a Comment
Usually DJ Quest goes to Amoeba but last week it was the other way around when the Amoeblog visited the Mission District home studios of the legendary San Francisco turntablist (video below) who has done several performances at Amoeba Music over the years including a record release set for his 2008 album Questulous and another with the DJ youth group the The DJ Project, that featured youth DJs from Horizons Unlimited and the Quest School of DJ Arts, where he mentors at-risk youth to gain arts education as well as the employment and entrepreneurial skills to help get them music-related careers. Throughout his two-decade plus career DJ Quest has always been as much of an inspiration and educator to aspiring DJs as he has been an artist/performer - using the turntable as a tool and sort of text book to educate and inspire. Last summer accompanied by talented young DJs he went down to Monterey County, CA where, as part of the Monterey County Free Libraries' (MCFL) Summer Reading 2012 program at several branches across the county he hosted several well-received scratch/hip-hop DJ turntable performances and Q+A seminars.

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DJ Traps Wins 2013 SF Regional DMC Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle

Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the  2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.

The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
 
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.

"A Community Event" - DJ Cue on Sunday's 2013 San Francisco DMC Regional DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.

"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.

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NYC's Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend: DMC US Finals, Roc Raida Memorial Gong Battle, & Stylus Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 04:47am | Post a Comment


In New York City this weekend there's a real treat in store for scratch DJs and fans of scratching and hip-hop DJ battles. Tomorrow (Saturday Aug 4th) the 2012 DMC US Finals National DJ Battle is taking place at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The winner of this anticipated DJ battle will go onto London, England next month to represent the US in the 2012 DMC World DJ Championships on September 28th. This Sunday (Aug 5th) in New York at the same Bleecker Street club will be the 2012 Grand Master Roc Raida Memorial Gong DJ Battle - bearing the name of the much loved X-ecutioner DJ who began the event years before he passed on in 2009. And to top things off for this NYC DJ weekend, that is been dubbed Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend, later today (Aug 3rd) will be the DubSpot Stylus Sessions # 2. Curated & produced by turntablist scholar John Carluccio this event will be video streamed live from the West 14th Street DJ school's headquarters.

At tomorrow's big US DMC battle, where competing DJs from all round the nation  will include DJ Sol Rising who won the 2012 Bay Area DMC Regional Battle back in April, the host will once again be the ever funny & entertaining Lord Finesse (of D.I.T.C. fame) while the Bay Area's DJ Snayk Eyez,  who is the 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champion, will do be among three DJs doing a special turntable routine performance. The others will be legendary 1986 DMC World Champion holder DJ Cheese, who after a long absence is back performing and recording over the past couple of years, and DJ Total Eclipse of The X-ecutioners. Meanwhile DJ Spictakular of the legendary Allies DJ crew will be doing a long partyrocking series of sets throughout the day long event that begins at 2pm and ends by 930pm tomorrow.

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