Thursday, March 4, 2010

DJ Dopeshoes is Classified™


There’s been many changes in DJing over the years in terms of music, technology, and the industry. How have you changed as a DJ and what remains the same?
Well, I’d say the most obvious change is the switch to using software, as opposed to vinyl. I’m thankful that I spent my first few years as a DJ using vinyl, because I think it’s important to understand the roots. That being said, Serato has really changed the game as far as what you can play and how you can play it. A lot of people’s music collections, including mine, blew up overnight. This, obviously, is bittersweet. With everyone having fast access to a huge library of music, whether by downloading or sharing, exclusivity, in a lot of ways, went out the window. I think there was a lot of anxiety about the loss of individuality between DJ’s collections. Truth is, this was inevitable. Times change. Nowadays, it’s less about what’s in your collection, and more about how you use your collection. What matters is how you freak it. After all, Shakespeare used the same alphabet as Iceberg Slim, right? It’s all about style.

What do you like and dislike about club/party DJing?
Man, talk about a love/hate relationship. When I’m DJing and the crowd and I are vibing, there’s really no better feeling. You just build of of each other. I always catch myself with this really dumb grin on my face. Just cheesin it. But it can’t be helped, it’s just too damn good! On the flipside, I’ve had many a crowd that just wasn’t feeling me. I’m trying to go one way and they’re dead set on another. It’s times like those that, honest-to-god, it takes everything I have not to crawl underneath the decks and hug my knees and rock back and forth. Really.

What is your thought process when coming up with mixes and transitions?
To be completely honest, a lot of it is just trial-and error. I’ll practice some mixes beforehand, but overall I don’t plan my sets, so much of it is based on whatever vibe I’m picking up at the moment. I would say that it isn’t so much of a thought process as it is a “feel” process, but then I would sound like an idiot.

What would you like to see more DJs do?
Tricks involving fire. Just kidding. In my experience, most DJs I see are doing their thing, and I’m more often inspired than anything.

What are your 5 favorite records/songs/artists to play when DJing?
Well, depends on the crowd and the night… blah blah blah, but here goes:
Snoop - Ups and Downs
Raphael Saadiq - Get Involved
The Gap Band - Outstanding
Mack10 - Foe Life (I don’t always get the chance, but man I sure love playing it)
Jackson 5 - Blame It On The Boogie

What is one song many people love but you will never play?
Just one? Haha.

How can people hear your DJ’ing?
I play the first Thursday of every month at Bar Dynamite and the last Wednesday of the month at the AC Lounge. The rest of the time I’m rather nomadic. I also have a handful of mixes available for download online.