US DJ Throdown Set To Take World Title in London: 2018 DMC World DJ Championship Preview + 2018 DMC US Finals Review

Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2018 01:35am | Post a Comment

Today, Sunday October 7th, reigning US champion DJ Throdown is on the other side of the Atlantic in England where he will represent the USA in the anticipated annual 2018 DMC World DJ Championships at London’s Islington Assembly Hall. There the Washington DC DJ, who in early August won the 2018 DMC US Finals DJ Battle in Denver, will face off against such other national champion DMC battle DJs as Skillz who recently won the 2018 DMC France Championship, El Statiko who took the title at the Sept 18th  2018 DMC UK Championship Finals, and DJ Chell who won the 2018 DMC Russia Championship Finals on September 12th (Mixmaster Mike and Shortkut were special guests at that DJ battle in Moscow).

Despite how highly talented these and such other international competitors as Italy's DJ Color or Australia's Midsole might be, US DJ Throdown stands a very good chance of winning based on his winning performance in Denver two months ago. If the super-skilled and super-confident American DJ can duplicate both the high level of performance plus the aura/attitude he exuded in Denver at the US Finals he stands a real good chance to win the 2018 DMC World DJ Championship title for the USA.  

Christie Zee, who is the CEO of DMC USA,  is over in London this weekend and was at the US DMC Regional battles earlier in the year including at the heated DMC US Finals in Denver where she noted how DJ Throdown was an across the board favorite. "Unanimously all the judges chose him, which is pretty rare," she said.  As for how he might do competitively this weekend in London? "I think he'll do well but Rena's defending so who knows what might happen," she said referring to young Japanese DJ Rena who, at age 12, took the title last year (scroll down for video of his impressive winning set).  There is also a lot of new talent and, as Christie Zee said, "you really never know how a battle will turn out."

Other DMC World competitors this year include Canada's Jimmi Riggz and New Zealand's K-Swizz. The Battle For World Supremacy / The DMC World DJ Championship - The Eliminations / The DMC World DJ Final is the full official listing of today's big turntable competitive event. The prestigious long running event will also include showcases from Chris Karns, Prime Cuts and Mr Switch, plus workshops, and even a Portablist DMC competition. Happening today Sunday Oct 7th from 3pm - 11pm at (note) new location of Islington Assembly Hall Upper St. London N1 2UD. All info here.  Review of US DMC Finals below following video of DJ Rena's winning set at last year's DMC World DJ Final.

Japan's 12 year DJ Rena's winning routine @ 2017 DMC World Championships (today he defends title)

At the 2018 DMC US Finals DJ Battle in Denver on August 5th, unanimously popular winner DJ Throdown complimented his super-skilled turntablist display with an equally endearing, genuine display of humility, most notably witnessed during his acceptance speech.  And it is those two qualities, talent and humility, that should play to the DJ's advantage at today's big DMC World DJ Championships battle in London when he represents the USA. A couple of months ago at the big 2018 DMC US Finals at club Temple in Denver CO, Throdown beat out runner up DJ FlipFlop and third place, title defender DJ Perly who had won last year’s US DMC. Hence she was the one over in London this time last year for the 2017 World finals that Japan won.  At the August 5th battle in Denver, along with fellow female DJ competitor, young Brooklyn DJ Kool Flash, Perly was making history. It was the first time there were two female DJ competitors at the national final in the traditionally male dominated DJ battle. Unprecedented and uplifting said Christie Zee. "it wasn't about being a girl. It was about being good.... And outside of Jazzy Joyce or Kuttin Kandi nobody does it."  The other competing US DJs included DJ As-One, SlasherKut, DJ Remedy, DJ MoTo, DJ Tums and Knockers.


Holding this year’s DMC US Finals in Denver for the first time proved to be a positive move for the national event that traditionally takes place in New York City but traveled outside two years ago to the Bay Area. “Pre-sale ticket sales here in Denver have been way better than in New York or even Oakland,” the DMC's Christie Zee told the Amoeblog noting how the DMC is, "So appreciated in Denver, unlike in New York. We had over 600 people. The venue was outstanding and it was just a great night."

Among the 600 in attendance was visiting Bay Area DJ Lazyboy, decked in an RIP Pam the Funkstress T-shirt, who flew in from SFO earlier that day to attend the battle and showcase sets. These included star turntablists DJ Babu, DJ Precision, DJ Boogie Blind and hometown hero/2011 DMC World Champ Chris Karns (FKA DJ Vajra).

As well as regular DMC backers Rane, the event was also presented by the Mile High DJ Supply. The day before that local DJ one-stop curated a series of master classes with DJ Babu, DJ Precision, DJ Boogie Blind and others. The vibrant progressive thinking business, run by the tireless Kyle “DJ Hijinx” Montoya, also produced an  afternoon hours freestyle portable DJ scratch session in the adjacent art gallery space of the sprawling club Temple. The Numark PT-01 Scratch inspired portable turntablist participation continues at today's event in London with the Portablist DMC.

Warming up the crowd at the US DMC Finals at Denver's Temple club, with its booming sound system, was party rockin' DJ Boogie Blind. Boogie was then joined on stage by fellow performer and fellow judge;  DJ Babu of LA’s world famous Beat Junkies and Dilated Peoples who introduced the battle. Babu was then joined on the mic by fellow judge/performer Chris Karns in introducing the other judges that included the 2016 DMC World Supremacy champion Erick Jay from Brazil, Precision, Boogie Blind, and Hijinx.

With the exception of DJ Perly who, as reigning US DMC champion got to defend her 2017 title, all of the other nine contestants had to win respective regional DMC battles (typically but not necessarily in their own hometown/state) to make it to Denver. In Denver each DJ was allotted six minutes to present their very best in a prepared routine that would determine the new US DJ champ and hence who would make it to today's DMC World Championship over in the UK.

The implications of so much been at stake,  based on a one time six minute live routine,  has to be an anxiety-triggering experience but all of the ten contestants in Denver appeared non-phased and exuding in a calm confidence.
Featuring lots of new name battle DJs alongside many repeat competitors, each turntablist shared high caliber skills; something that offered insight into the endless hours of practice each DJ must have put into all the preparation for this one day. First up was Knockers from Miami FL who displayed a laid back style. In contrast DJ Tums from Dallas TX was more high energy in a mix that incorporated eclectic styles. DJ SlasherKut from Kapolei Hawaii threw down a solid routine while 11 year old female DJ Kool Flash’s impressive set’s techniques including strobing and body tricks that included using her chin to work the cross fader. 

Among the competing DJs who killed it but unfortunately didn’t make the judges’ final three were DJs Remedy, MoTo, and As-One. DJ As-One’s confidence, professionalism and sharp skills displayed the numerous years that this longtime Maryland DJ has put into the art form he clearly loves. However As-One’s lightning speed six-minute turntable display, that included perfectly timed and executed behind the back body tricks, for some reason did not connect with the judges nor the audience, as it deserved to do. 

In contrast North Carolina’s DJ MoTo’s commanding scratch-crazy set drew loud wild applause from the crowd who dug his on-point mixing and tight cutting (on both sides) coupled with his hard-rockin’ energy. Fittingly he included Run-D.M.C.’s “Kings Of Rock.” MoTo's positive crowd reaction to his set was not enough to equally impress the judges to place him in the top three. Similarly with the incredibly talented Baltimore DJ Remedy (one of three 2018 US DMC contestants from the DC/Maryland area) whose impressive set, that incorporated a clever diss to FlipFlop, was hindered by the fact that for some reason the house sound levels dropped to really low for beginning part of his set. In fact they were so low it prompted many in the crowd to shout at the sound-man to turn up the volume. This he did but by then Remedy was already well into his killer, albeit disadvantaged, six minute routine.  

As the winner of last year’s DMC US Finals, DJ Perly was automatically a 2018 Finals contestant invited back to defend her title. Wearing an Amy Winehouse T-shirt (whose music her set incorporated), the Poughkeepsie NY DJ delivered an impressive head-nodding routine that  displayed skill and professionalism; proven by how she effortlessly rebounded from a technical error in her set. While expertly executed and incorporated, her routine’s heavy reliance on her state-of-the-art mixer’s many special high-tech effects may have been viewed as a negative by some of the traditional thinking judges. Runner-up DJ FlipFlop, who grew up in Portland but now lives in the Winnetka neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley in SoCal, instantly established a strong rapport with the crowd whom he held captive throughout his six minute display of off-the-hook skills, cutting up like a madman, and all the while constructing a well planned, pitch perfect set that steadily built in momentum, energy and decibel levels. 
DJ FlipFlop’s stunning set was a tough one to top but Washington DJ Throdown managed to top it with a mind-boggling set that was pure fire from its opening moments in which he figuratively set the turntables ablaze with rapid-fire cutting and turntable trickery. Not only did Throdown throw down a dizzying display of scratch skills, with such body tricks as behind the back turntable manipulation utilizing his shoulder blades, but within his 360 second (six minute) set, he strategically served up a smorgasbord of moods and genres, and ever shifting BPMs; all delivered via seamless transitions. Like Flip Flop before him Throdown established himself as a true showman, employing such theatrics as when he suddenly brought things to a screeching halt / break by playing a snippet of Nat King Cole’s sleepy ballad “Unforgettable.” Perhaps as a kind of subliminal message a couple of times he blended in the “call me the champion” sample. As well as a fave with the judges, Throdown was also a clear crowd favorite at the US Finals in Colorado. Of course he was already familiar with many in the house from competing in Denver in the past and winning the 2018 Denver DMC Regional to graduate him to the national finals. 

Following all ten competitors' six minutes special guest turntable artists Precision, Chris Karns and Babu each did impressive showcase sets. Then a little later they would each come back out on stage to the multi-turntable set-up to individually freestyle with Boogie Blind during his second extended party set. During Boogie Blind's closing set he shouted out all the b-boys and b-girls in the house including legendary b-girl Asia-One, and proceeded to play a set of electro funk flavored, old school b-boy breaks for them to break to.

The night closed with the anticipated announcement of the new US champion; a decision that all judges and most audience members seemed to be in agreement on. In fact in the time period following all ten competitors' routines, while the judges were backstage making their decisions, I noticed how as Throdown casually and confidentially walked the hall he repeatedly got high fives as if he were already the crowned winner. 

Later on in his acceptance speech DJ Throdown proved himself to be truly humble when, onstage as winner, rather than focus on himself, he displayed genuine gratitude while praising others, or else enthusing over his beloved art form of Djing. It seemed that Throdown had forgotten all about himself, instead warmly shouting out such others as his junior competitor,  "eleven year old girl” DJ Kool Flash (pictured above to his left) marveling at her advanced skills.  Then, in praising the DMC’s own Christie Zee, who is widely considered DJ culture’s greatest ambassador, he praised her to wide applause as, “Literally the coolest fuckin’ lady.” The new US champion DJ also stated how blessed and star struck he felt to be standing physically right beside one of his all time DJ heroes, DJ Babu whom as he pointed out, “Literally created the term turntablist.”  

And when Throdown’s acceptance speech finally got round to the topic of himself, he remained humble and real; “I don’t do this shit for the money. I do it cos I love it.”  That pure passion plus healthy grounded humility, coupled with the DJ's aforementioned skills, can only help propel Throdown’s chances of taking the world title for the USA today at the 2018 DMC World DJ Championships today in London. Battle event details below in flyer and text versions.
2018 DMC World DJ Finals Oct. 7, 2018

Rane presents The 2018 DMC World DJ Championships Sunday 7th October , Islington Assembly Hall Upper St. London N1 2UD. UK 3pm - 11pm. Performances will include Chris Karns (2011 DMC World Champion) Prime Cuts (4 x World Champion / Scratch Perverts) Mr Switch (4 x DMC World Champion) + JFB (DMC UK Champion). Additionally there will be a DJ Workshop with Fong Fong + Mr Switch. Plus Portablist DMC  competition for the attendees of the event with winner getting a signed Numark PT01 Turntable!  Tickets £15 here  More info here

Relevant Tags

Turntablism (44), Dmc Usa (5), Dj Battle (15), Dmc World (1), Dmc (55), Skillz (5), Throdown (2), Midsole (1), Dj Color (1), Dj Chell (1), Islington Assembly Hall (2), Ignacio Soltero (4), Christie Zee (7), El Statiko (1), Hijinx (2), Mile High City Dj Supply (1), Temple Denver (1), Dj Kool Flash (1)