In this week’s We’re With The DJ, we have the extended feature from our September Issue featuring DJ YS. Here he gives an extended playlist, his funny stripper DJ booth incident, and building more business around his DJ profession.
What’s on your current playlist?
Pop That – French Montana, Break Ya Back – Fese, Hit Dat - Cobra Kames, Swimming Pools – Kendrick Lamar, Black Bird – Action Bronson x Thelonious Martin, Sixteen – Rick Ross ft Andre 3000
I play a pretty wide range of music so I’m all over the place. Hip-Hop? Rick Ross, Curren$y, Pac Div Suzi Analog, Riff Raff, Action Bronson, Pusha T, Dom Kennedy are all putting out some crazy records. Outside of Hip-Hop, it’s been a lot of Dillion Francis, Duck Sauce, Mandrill, and EVERYTHING by DJ Swizzy Mack & DJ Bake.
Have any side hu$tles?
Definitely. I’m usually involved with the planning and promotion of my events. From securing sponsorship, designing flyers/posters, hanging them up, passing them out, to on and off line marketing plans. I like to ensure that my brand is presented properly so I try to stay as involved as possible if my name is on it. I’ve been doing some of these tasks for other DJs and businesses.
I’ve started an LLC (The Party Up! Group) that handles my mobile DJing and corporate events. We do everything from school dances to moonbounces to weddings.
I’ve also started a few new sites. Future Legend Radio is an Internet radio station / blog for mixtapes launching this fall. Also, AllHamm.com is a Philly/Jersey club music record pool my partners and I just launched, helping spread club music around the world while making sure that the producers get credit and get paid.
Going to Carnegie Mellon really opened my eyes to opportunities to make money through the technology so I’m exploring all my options from WordPress themes, iPhone apps, etc.
Favorite album of all-time?
Difficult question but I’d have to go with Midnight Marauders by ATCQ. The production, lyrics, artwork, etc.. Perfect execution on many levels. So many great records that really hold up well over the years. That album always puts me in a good mood.
What DJ inspires you the most and why?
DJ Jazzy Jeff for sure. Aside from the Philly connection, his style i think is the perfect balance between clean and funky. He pretty much has no limits musically and always has a new trick up his sleeve. I always had him at the top but spinning alongside him at Platinum a couple years back really sealed it for me. Effortlessly took a crowd that typically only responded to trap music all over the place. I could go on and on but understand, if you have a chance to see Jeff live, DO IT.
As a DJ I get inspiration all over the place though. I think something that’s missing from hip-hop based DJs now is that element of showmanship their before. If you ‘just play records’, you’re positioning yourself as a commodity. I’m always getting ideas from other entertainers on how to put on a good show.
Who is your parallel DJ?
I’d probably say my parallel DJ is my homie from Philly DJ Lean Wit It. We both have a reputation for being well rounded musically. I can very comfortably ‘go left’ but still turn up. I think that’s the goal for a good Philly DJ. Me, him, and our boy DJ Yah Mean are forming a group Stay Mad (Stay Wit It x Mad Decent) where we really get to flex musically and have some fun. Look out for that project soon.
Craziest DJ booth incident?
At a now closed Pittsburgh club, I was spinning the after-hours set and a stripper kept making requests, coming into the booth, etc. The security guard assigned to the booth kept checking her out every time she came up so I suggested that he talked to her and make a move. After asking me if I wanted parts, they made some r&b requests and went to get it in in the back of the booth.
Most requested song that you hate?
Wobble, cha cha slide, etc. I don’t think these are the worst songs in the world but for those weddings and other more family oriented events, you KNOW i’m gonna play it. Relax haha. I don’t necessarily hate the songs as they are just another tool in the toolbox. Just hate getting the request.
1st response in your head to a song requested?
But really, I’m usually cool with request. Sometimes they’re annoying but I’ve been pretty lucky lately with not getting anything too ridiculous. I have no problem telling someone that their request isn’t gonna happen or if its a stretch.
A DJ should NEVER….
Listen to silly, made up rules set in place by other DJs ( you should only talk with your hands, never play a song more than once in a set, if you don’t use ___ you’re not a real DJ, etc).
I do think DJs shouldn’t undercut each other, blatantly bite mixes, catch phrases, etc.
Be a professional, be creative, entertain your audience, work hard, and have fun. Those are my “rules” haha.