New Generation USA Battle DJ Champs Dwells & DJ Perly Hope To Repeat National Victories at 2017 DMC World DJ Championship

Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2017 06:39am | Post a Comment

Leaders of the new generation of US DMC battle DJ champions - the skilled turntablist competitors Dwells and DJ Perly - are currently over in England where each will participate in today’s big 2017 DMC World DJ Championship. At that prestigious international DJ competition, happening at London’s club Koko, these  reigning American DJ champs each hope to repeat their national victories on an international level. DJ Perly, who was the winner in the 2017 US DMC Finals, (scroll down for review of that August 5th battle) and Dwells, who took the 2017 US DMC Supremacy title, will each battle in their respective categories in the hope of taking a world championship title back home to the USA. In today’s DMC Battle For World Supremacy Dwells will face off against such other international DMC Supremacy champs as Brazil’s Erick Jay, France’s DJ Topic,  Germany's DJ A Plus and Japan’s DJ Yukichi.

Meanwhile for her six minute routine in the DMC World DJ Finals this evening DJ Perly, the first woman to ever take the DMC US Finals title, will be pitted against reigning DMC battle champions from sixteen other countries. These include China’s Kook-L, the UK’s DJ Rasp, Canada’s Jimmy Riggz, Greece’s DJ Freestone, South Africa’s DJ Codax, Hungary’s Sonny Kraft and New Zealand’s DJ Gooda. [See flyer above with full list of the competing country DJs, and flyer below with schedule breakdown of today’s multi-faceted, eight hour event]

With her win at the 2017 DMC US Finals in New York eight weeks ago DJ Perly made history by becoming the first ever woman DMC USA DJ champion. By so doing she broke the female DJ glass ceiling and instantly became a pioneer and role-model for women in the traditionally male-dominated hip-hop battle DJ event. For her win the skilled, young, confident, Puerto Rican and proud NY DJ showcased a six-minute routine that  impressed the judges to collectively bestow more points toward her performance than any of her ten male competitors in the heated DJ battle.  Born Natalia Perlz, DJ Perly’s historic win did not go unnoticed by her fellow female turntablists. Among the first to tout the historic moment was famed female DJ Kuttin Kandi who had competed in the DMC herself in a previous decade. The DJ/poet/community activist and feminist praised Perly, "a Puerto Rican, womxn of color” for her landmark win in the event that Kandi accurately described as “our DJ Olympics” and “not some mainstream commercial battle ran by some alcohol endorsement. This is the battle of all battles where we earn our respect amongst our real DJ turntablists of the world.”

In making it all the way to London this weekend to compete in the World DMC Championships, DJs Perly and Dwells offer a perfect example of how important perseverance is and how keeping one’s eyes on the prize really does pay off. Both relative newcomers to the scene, and each from New York, DJ Perly and Dwells also share the gift of treating obstacles as welcome challenges.  Dwells burst on the battle scene a few years ago turning heads as the superskilled 13 year old DJ who would make history in being the youngest DJ ever to win the NY DMC Finals. That was in 2014 when he had just turned 14. That regional win earned him a coveted spot in the 2014 US DMC Finals battle a couple of months later: something that many believed he could win, but he didn’t. He placed second but after the battle went home and began preparing for the following year. Those endless hours of practicing, something that all DMC DJs have to put in, paid off for Dwells and in the following year’s 2015 NY DMC Finals he once again took that regional title.

However in the follow-up 2015 US DMC Finals, in which he had again focused on winning, he ended up placing third. Some might have thrown in the towel and given up at that point. But Dwells only dedicated himself harder to the game, returning this year as the 2017 US DMC Supremacy winner. He also further honed self-disciplining skills by making himself focus only on his own development and to not be distracted by any of his competitors. “This year I sort of tried to cut myself off from any influence from other DJs and not worry about who my competitors were,” he said. “I just made a set with routines I thought fit together and hoped for the best.”  That hope was realized!

For DJ Perly, keeping her eyes on the prize and her head in the game was even extra challenging: and not just because of her being a minority as a female DJ but because of what went down at last year’s 2016 DMC US Finals. Held at the New Parish in Oakland, the NY DJ flew  across the country joined by her mom who didn't want to miss the big event in her daughter's life (Note her mom is also with her today in London). And everything went as best it could with Perly winning that DMC US Finals, or so she thought. At the end of the night’s tight, talent-packed DJ battle it was announced that DJ Perly had won and become the new national champion. To loud cheering Perly was ceremoniously crowned the winner of that important battle.  That meant that she would go onto the 2016 DMC World Championship, held around this time last year. However as a result of one of those “shit happens” moments - one that involved a slight but significant late night mathematical error in tallying the totals of the judges' votes - it was discovered just hours later that a mistake had been made. This error meant that she was not the winner after all, but the runner up. Waiting until early the next morning when she awoke, the DMC organizers called her to break the news and to apologize. 

For many such a scenario would dampen their spirit, toy with their self-confidence, and sour them on ever having anything to do with DJ battles again. But not DJ Perly who, while naturally disappointed at first, used the experience as one to grow from. "Last year's crazy mix up was something that took me by surprise realizing how fast everything had changed from going from 1st to 2nd [place] within the blink of an eye. Was I sad? Yes. But I was determined,” she said adding how, “The following weeks after the mix up, the thought of what happened gave me the extra push to keep going and to never lose hope. The thought of being one step away from reaching my goal to participate at the DMC World Finals in London made me even more hungrier than ever before. I knew that deep down inside I had it in me to win. I just had to stay focused to keep my eye on that goal."

The 2017 DMC US Finals DJ battle, which was presented by Rane, took place on August 5th at the Highline Ballroom in NYC with DJ Perly winning, Dwells coming in second (his US Supremacy win was separate), and DJ Shmeeze placing third. The other competitors included DJs Throdown, Spare Change, Toltech, Bombeardo, As-One, Ichy The Killer,  Les735 and Ragoza. With an overall very high level of skill, each participant battle DJ had clearly put in endless hours of practice and prep for their individually exceptional six-minute routines. The event, that ended with a killer showcase set from the legendary NYC turntablist crew The X-Ecutioners, was hosted by hip-hop icon and funny man never at a loss for words Lord Finesse. The famed NYC emcee/DJ and frequent DMC host’s long list of quips and witty observations of the night included him calling Dwells a “baby faced gangsta” and capping on DJ Ragoza, saying to loud laughter that his name, “sounds like real expensive pasta!”

Each battle competitor delivered tight routines with no two the same in terms of the varying tricks and skills showcased, as well as in their individually unique approaches to battle. Musically it was a most diverse night with each DJ gravitating to preferred genres of music (trap to classical) as well as varying types/speeds of beats to build their sets upon. DJ Perly worked in lot of RnB samples. Toltech’s set was built upon more traditional raw hip-hop battle beats, while Bombeardo’s set ventured into comparatively faster, drum’n’bass type beats. And while most DJs incorporated some kind of body trick in their sets, DC’s Throdown’s entertaining routine displayed the most body tricks of the night including spinning around not missing a beat (or scratch). Meantime fellow DC area DJ As-One’s spell-binding intricate set, that opened with an infectious military like rhythm, utilized the mixer’s endless features way more than any other DJ of the night. Then there was Ohio DJ Spare Change’s set that included the traditional DJ battle approach of incorporating a series of diss quotes directed at such competitors as Dwells.

Bay Area representative Ichy The Killer (seen above), who before the battle told me how he felt “more relaxed, focused, and confident” than in any previous battle, delivered a tight set that was broken into distinct segments with the energy and BPMs kicking into full gear during his closing segment: an all out head-nodding rocking big beat with him teasing in the guitar parts. Some other DJs did a similar type presentation as Ichy in which their six minutes were like a collection of different parts deliberately divided to showcase varying styles and skills, while others such as the aforementioned As-One and LA’s super-talented DJ Shmeeze sets were more like one cohesive musical piece. Among the distinguishing features of DJ Perly’s winning set were how she so readily embraced the whole “battle” aspect of her routine by not only breaking into some mean-mugging type facial expressions and body poses (plus lots of body-tricks) throughout her set, but by also working in some perfectly chosen, gender-appropriate samples and soundbites. These included the crowd favored diss-sample, “If I had a dick this is where I’d tell you to suck it” and her set’s empowering - and ultimately prophetic - opening female-voiced sample, “Nobody can tell me I can’t do it.”

Relevant Tags

Ichy The Killer (5), Was Hosted By Hip-hop Icon And Funny Man Never At A Loss For Wor (1), Turntablist (3), Bombeardo (1), As-one (2), Toltech (1), Dj (37), Dmc (55), Ignacio Soltero (4), Dj Battle (15), Battle Breaks (1), 2017 Dmc Us Finals Dj Battle (1), Kuttin Kandi (2), Rane (7), Nyc (85), Highline Ballroom (4), Tools Of War (24), Dwells (2), Dj Perly (3), Dmc Usa (5), Christie Zee (7), 2017 Dmc World Championship (1), Finals (1), Dj Shmeeze (2), Dmc Us Supremacy (1), Les735 Ragoza (1), Throdown (2), The X-ecutioners (1), Spare Change (1)