Back to Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: The importance of the DJ

A brief rundown of some of Tacoma’s hottest DJs

DJ Reign helped Can-U solidify himself as one of the best MCs to come out of the scene

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

It all started with the DJ.

This ain't a Hip-Hop 101, class, so I'm not going to break down the history, but when hip-hop started in the South Bronx, the DJ was the most important element. Fast-forward 30-some years and it's not quite the same. A lot of shows nowadays don't even have a DJ. There's just a guy playing the MC's music via a flash drive or a CD player.

Thankfully, there are a few DJs left around making sure we don't forget.

J-Mar Da Sik teamed up with Black Anger's DJ Sayeed for J-Mar's new mixtape, Off With Their Heads (covered in the May 19 "What's the Word?" column). DJ Sayeed can be heard scratching, mixing, blendin' and cutting the whole album up. Having a skilled DJ host a mixtape can bring a certain excitement and legitimacy to the project, and this counts as an example

DJ Hanibal is another active local DJ to recognize. He helps run the awesome art-party machine Artifakt. He also moonlights as a sometime DJ for City Hall. Before all of this he was the DJ for Life Cycle.

I must also give props to DJ Reign. Reign helped Can-U solidify himself as one of the best MCs to come out of the scene. DJ Reign and Can-U were able to form flawless live shows where they interacted on a level that almost touched that of Eyedea and Abilities. 

DJ Iceman is a popular local DJ who spins for a lot of hip-hop artists at their shows. He's sort of a hip-hop renaissance man. He can MC as well. Ya can catch DJ Iceman spinning during this year's Hemp Fest and at Hemp Fest's official hip-hop after-party at the Surreal Ultra Lounge.

DJ Gerze is another DJ who is a staple on the local scene. Gerze does so much more than just spin music, though. He also promotes and plans parties and events. Gerze currently DJs for Seattle/Tacoma MC J.Bre-who should be checked out. He's a promising young MC.

DJs Iceman and Gerze are two DJs that are in touch with the local hip-hop scene. They know the artists and they play and spin local music at their gigs.

As Gerze says, "If ya a local DJ and ya don't know who the local MCs are, then what are ya doing?"

Read next close

Features

PLACE: Old Milwaukee Cafe

comments powered by Disqus