DJ Clue, Funkmaster Flex and DJ Green Lantern. What do they have in common (other than all sounding like superheros)? The trio that many fans consider part of hip-hop’s elite all share what was once considered to be speciality skill... DJing has taken on a new meaning.
Part of the aftermath following this recent culturing of electronic dance music, every Tom, Dick and Harry is trying to be the next Avicii, Afrojack and Guetta as much as I was trying to be Tino Martinez when I was 11. This universal yearning for the life of a DJ has not only hit the feeble fans. Spreading at rates similar to the bubonic plague, EDM has affected all areas of music, including rappers and skilled hip-hop DJs.
VIBE has chosen a few DJs: each one started in hip-hop and eventually transitioned with the music trends. Although the sound and tempo may be completely different from these musicians’ roots, they still recognize their past, as each has made their mark on the music world, making them timeless and genreless.
Three Hip-Hop TurnTable Coats.....
The Montreal born turntablist Alain Macklovitch (better known as A-Trak) won all three major DJ competitions (DMC, ITF and Vestax) and many other accolades. The Brooklyn based scratch master has been around the music block many times. From winning DMC at the young age of 15 in 1997, he has become renowned for being one of the most skilled sonic engineers on earth. His rapper collaboration list includes names like Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, as well as being recruited by Kanye West to be his personal touring DJ. Yeezy, as we all know, doesn’t like to compliment anyone, cue Taylor Swift VMA Incident. But Mr. West was so into A-Trak’s ability as a hip-hop DJ that the Canadian performed with ‘Ye’ at the Grammys, VMAs and also made multiple appearances on his last two albums.
These days A-Trak has been killing it the EDM scene. Half the DJ/producer tag team Ducksauce with Armin Van Helden, the two have achieved massive success across the globe with productions like ‘Barbara Streisand’ and ‘Big Bad Wolf’. Ducksauce is one of the few EDM based producer teams that can boast a #1 on the US Billboard Charts. Let me also not forget he owns Fools Gold Records. Wait did I also mention he opened up the historical Swedish House Mafia event at MSG? I could go on...
Snoop Dogg/ DJ Snoopadelic
If I could, I’d drive a Snoop Deville and eat Chicken Noodle Snoop all day. His persona will live on in infamy as the pages of Rap History are read years from now. Starting as one of Dr.Dre’s proteges, Snoop’s career flourished more than any other rapper on the West Coast. Accumulating 14 Grammy nominations and a ton of other awards nods (Stoner of The Year 2002), S-N- double O - P is a social icon.
11 albums later, what is Snoop up to now? Enter DJ Snoopadelic, A project he has promoted mainly through his personal SoundCloud in which he releases new sets often, Snoop has made a number of appearances manning the 1’s and 2’s. For those of you with a love for deep house, check out Snoop’s ‘Tekno Euro Mix’. Featuring some of the most proper soulful grooves to grace this deep head’s ears, Snoop obviously has other talents far beyond his lyricism.
A most dominant dance music force, Mr. Dice always goes loco when speaking of his roots and pure love for hip-hip. Back in the day he put on support sets for the likes of Usher, Ice Cube and Snoop (go figure). Dice has embarked on a mission of creating techno for all, including rap lovers. Sampling Rick Ross’ ‘Every Day I’m Hustlin’, Dice flawlessly mixed the anthem like chorus into some of the darkest, dirtiest techno ever heard. The German native is a massive star DJ across the pond. He is treated like royalty and respected like a God. That said... what did the rap enthusiast do when he happened to meet De La Soul at the airport?
Dice took a picture, uploaded it to his 315K+ fans on Facebook with the caption: ‘Woooow !!!! Am I dreamin' ??! #speechless DE LA SOUL !! #Legends’. A contemporary legend still acting like a young kid waiting outside the Yankee clubhouse trying to get autographs, you gotta love it.