It seems like everyday there's another DJ being accused of just getting on stage and pressing play. There are however, a select few who you know this isn't the case- like ever. A-Trak is one of those DJs.
Coming up from hip hop roots, A-Trak can run circles around pretty much any other headliner out there, especially with his scratching and juggling ability. But what really shows he knows what's up is his humility and ability to recognize that no matter what a DJ's format may be, they can still kill it - they just have to know what they are doing.
He begins his post on #RealDJIng by saying:
"There's a lot of talk lately about what DJing is becoming. I've seen it evolve a lot over the years. I started DJing when I was 13, scratching vinyl and playing strictly hip hop, winning championships. The DMC judges thought I was pretty good at it, but think my definition was narrow back then. I remember when my aunts and uncles found out I was a DJ they assumed I was the guy talking on the radio. So to define who we were, we called ourselves turntablists. We wanted legitimacy."
He then describes his own journey and career evolution, writing:
As I grew up I got into more sides of the craft. Party-rocking and mastering different musical genres. In the early 2000's I was Serato's very first endorsee. I remember talking to Jazzy Jeff and AM about Serato: was it stable enough? We also had to convert all our music. DJing was becoming digital. Then Kanye hired me to tour with him, because he learned how to perform from Common and Kweli who had real DJs too - shout out to Dummy & Ruckus. We went on an Usher tour and Kanye wanted me to bust solos. My routines were too specialized so I had to make new ones that this new audience would understand. I started seeing the bigger picture.
In the end, he closes by recognizing the multifaceted talents behind the decks, writing:
And I don't think my way of DJing is the only way. I wish I could also play like Carl Cox and DJ Harvey too. But I have my style and it's my passion. I love standing for something that means something, as Pharcyde would say. When you come to my show you know you'll see me cut. And take risks. DJing is about taking risks. I represent #RealDJing #YouKnowTheDifference
You can read the full post on A-Trak's Facebook page.
So what's the takeaway here? Well, we think it's challenge yourself as a DJ - to "take risks" as A-Trak said. We definitely hope this catches on.