2015 SF DMC Battle (April 12 @ Brick & Mortar) Fosters "Accepting Vibe Where Everyone Can Feel Respected And Encouraged"

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2015 08:08am | Post a Comment

Three years ago in April of 2012, following a noticeably long six-year absence, the longtime DMC DJ Battle returned to San Francisco with its 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle at 330 Ritch at which DJ Sol Rising won the turntable competition. It was a most welcomed return of the world's longest running, most recognized, and prestigious DJ battle to the epicenter of turntablism/skratch music in the country. Thankfully, each year since then a Bay Area DMC Regional, one that determines who will go on to represent NorCal in the DMC USA national finals in New York, has taken place. The 2015 DMC San Francisco Regional DJ Battle will take place this coming Sunday, April 12th, at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco. Tix here.

As well as being the NorCal Regional battle, the event will also encompass the Battle for US Supremacy as part of the six-hour long program. The event is special also in the fact that this year's will be an all-ages event! Note that there is still time to enter for the battle by contacting DJs have until exactly 11:59pm on April 11th to register for the battles on April 12th. This year's battle has the backing of the Rane DJ gear company along with the pioneering Bay Area DJ Cue's (co-founder of the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters) San Brun-based Special Tech DJ school.

Despite it being the founding element of hip-hop culture, the art of DJ'ing has long taken a backseat to its better known brother MCing, emcee'ing, or rapping. Hence events like the DMC battles are very important in that they provide a much needed platform to showcase (and reward) DJs - especially the new generation of talented turntablists from the musically rich San Francisco Bay Area - for their hard work and collective talents. Battle DJs are known for putting in endless hours upon hours of practicing in the months leading up to battles for their short one to six minute routines.

Back three years ago in April 2012, the DMC USA DJ battle coordinator Christie Z Pabon (and co-founder / operator of Tools of War along with her business partner and husband Jorge Fabel Pabon)  told the Amoeblog, "I would like to see the US battle scene go back to where it was in the late '90s and go even further. I am very excited about this DMC Bay Area battle because more DJs are registered than any other regional," and also, "I hope it will turn into a renaissance, but we might have a few more years to go!"  This weekend in New York City, where Christie Z is based, I asked the longtime US battle organizer if she felt that her predictions and hopes from three years ago had come to fruition.

"It is a slow progress but I notice certain advancements every year," replied Christie Z Pabon. "Last year we saw more women and more DJs in their teens battling. Of the four DMC World battle titles, USA DJs currently hold two - IFTW (Inglewood, CA) is the 2014 DMC World Supremacy Champ and DJ I-Dee (Fairfax, VA) is the 2014 DMC Online World Champ."  Pabon further stressed, "I hope we have created an open accepting vibe where everyone can feel respected and encouraged." 

Under the steadfast leadership and guidance of Pabon, this is clearly something that the DMC has fullly accomplished. Proof lies in the fact that in the DMC last year, a DJ who is legally blind battled, that this year at least 2 DJs who are hard of hearing or deaf have entered, that the number of women DJs has increased in the past few years, and that for two years in a row now a transgender DJ has battled in the DMC. Another important stride towards inclusiveness is the fact that this year's SF battle will (unlike many previous ones held in strict 21+ venues) be an all-ages event.

"I am very excited that it is all-ages this year so, God willing, folks will bring their favorite youth to their first DJ battle," she said, adding, "We are excited to bring the Battle for US Supremacy to The Bay. It's head to head and vinyl only. Several DJs have registered - but none from CA yet. At least three battling hold some level of battle titles. We don't announce who is battling until the night before, so I can't let on too much, but that battle is always very exciting!"


14 Year Old DJ Dwells (a prime example of a young talented DJ) being interviewed after placing
second in last year's US DMC Finals in NYC

This weekend's battle will take place at Brick and Mortar where, in addition to the competing battle DJs, will be showcase sets from Mista-B, CJ Flash, and the 2014 DMC World Supremacy Champ IFTW. Meanwhile the hosts of the battle will be DJ Apollo and Chuy Gomez with the judges panel including Kuttin Kandi, Swift Rock, 8-Ball, and Pos Red. The winner of the competition will make it to the US Finals later this summer in NYC with the winner of that battle traveling to London, England on October 4th where the DMC World DJ Championship 2015 battle will take place at The Forum.

The SF Regional and Battle for US Supremacy event takes place this Sunday between 1pm and 7pm at Brick and Mortar (1710 Mission St. San Francisco CA 94103). All-ages event. $15 adv or  $20 at door. Tix here.

Facebook page.  DMC info

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Iftw (1), Dmc (55), Dj Dwells (7), Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (5), Ichy The Killer (5), Dj Traps (13), Dj Quest (54), Dj I-dee (3), Eddie Def (6), 2015 Dmc San Francisco Regional Dj Battle (1), Christie Z Pabon (30), Dj Cue (18), Dmc Battle For Us Supremacy (1)