Lists are going to be made as long as there are people with opinions to make them, but that's not to say that these lists can't be less biased.
Juan Atkins recently took to Facebook to express his opinion on what he is calling "The DJ List" and how said list is racist for not including any black artists (except for #99 and #100 as he points out). The Techno pioneer has a valid point, as there are numerous black DJs who should be included, at the very least in the top half of the list.
Where are Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Mike Huckaby, Omar S, Moodymann, Delano Smith and any number of other DJs that not only helped shape dance music, but are still going strong at gigs today? These artists continue to showcase their skills behind the decks, decades after they stepped onto the scene and there is no reason that they should not be included.
"What's heavy on my mind right now is that I recently discovered "The DJ List". And to my dismay, their top 100 DJ's list from #1 to #98 are all white. The only 2 black DJ's on the list are #99 and #100. WTF, are they trying to be funny? That's a slap in the face of the entire black race basically. No Derrick May, No Jeff Mils, etc. etc. are nowhere on their list. C'mon man, it's 2016 now and there's no place in DJ culture, or anywhere for that matter for racism. And I'm not going to stand idly by and watch this shit go down right before my eyes. So I hearby announce that I will lead the crusade for "The DJ List" to be Destroyed, Dismantled, Deleted, and Replaced. And what they probably don't realize, is that they're doing it to themselves by publishing a racist top 100 dj list. Because everyone knows that Black DJ's are amongst the best out there and are largely responsible for the development of this dance music & DJ culture. So they instantly lost credibility upon publication of this racist list. I couldn't even sleep thinking about this bullshit. So a big F.U. and goodbye to "The DJ List". See ya wouldn't wanna be ya."
- Juan Atkins
It's interesting to note that nobody has really stood up and said anything about the diversity of race on that list, they instead tend to mention the lack of females present, which is still just as terrible as the race issue. Excluding genders and races should never be on anyone's mind when making a list like the one Juan Atkins is talking about. I'm sure those who made the list weren't trying to be racist or sexist after all. With that being said, a more diverse list would definitely increase the credibility of "The DJ List", but everyone knows its a bunch of crap anyway.
We can always look at how far we've come when talking about diversity, but it's best to remember that we still have a very long way to go.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Magnetic Magazine