Tomorrow, Friday April 16th, the 2010 DMC American Battleground kicks off with the first round of this year's National DJ Battle Qualifier events. The DJ battle, being held in New Orleans at the Hookah Club on Decatur Street and hosted by Truth Universal, will also feature showcase sets by New York's DJ Shiftee, who is the current reigning DMC World Champion, and Mista B of San Francisco's 4OneFunk crew, who was runner up in last year's US DMC finals. In the upcoming weeks following the New Orleans DJ battle, other US DMC regional battles will take place in Denver (May 1st), NYC (May 15th), Long Beach, CA (May 21st), and San Antonio TX (May 28th). Then on August 7th the 2010 DMC US Finals DJ Battle will be held at Santos Party House in New York City.
But of all these US DMC battles, perhaps the most noteworthy is tomorrow's opening event since, by hosting the DMC battle in New Orleans for its second consecutive year, the event organizers are not only helping ignite the local competitive turntablist scene but they are also doing their part in the gradual recovery of a post Katrina New Orleans -- a still devastated city that has a ways to go before returning to its former Big Easy glory.
Christie Z-Pabon, the DMC USA Event Coordinator, credits local New Orleans DJ/promoter Tony Skratchere (part of New Orleans' Soundclash collective) with making the NOLA DMC event happen in the first place. "Tony Skratchere was just determined to bring it there and get the scene kicking. I remember when DJ Spin from Louisiana was the only person from that state battling in the late 90's," she told me, noting that, "Basically the DJs are taking the lead in all the cities and either becoming the promoters or finding promoters for us [at DMC]."