Thursday, July 28, 2005

Why being a dj can sometimes suck the life out of me

This will qualify as a rant, y'all, and may sound downright bitchy(cause I'm cranky) so if you don't want to hear it, close this window now.

So, I dj'd at St. Ex this past Friday. Normally, I don't really care who is out there or what I'm playing - I get equal amounts of joy spinning any records that I own for any people who are interested. HOWEVER, I have to say that I have a huge, stupid, freakish intolerance of the people who say the following to me (and before you go getting your panties in a twist, read my explanation below, k?):

"Um (and yes, they ALWAYS say 'um'), could you play some hip hop?"

Here are the reasons this bugs me:

1) I love hip hop. I have a rather large, eclectic collection, in fact. And when I'm djing at St. Ex, I typically bust out loads of it.

2) #1 having been said, aside from some 'old school favorites', I don't play a lot of hip hop that is played on the radio. I don't listen to the radio, I don't have television. In other words, the loop is ()here, and I am ()waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over *here* when it comes to current music. I have a couple of spies who tell me things that I should have, but aside from that, most of the music I buy comes from my own digging - both in used record bins and online. How else would I find Falco doing "Rappers Delight", I ask you???

3) Typically the people who request hip hop in such a manner do so when I play ANY song of ANY genre that they do not associate with hip hop. Most of the time, this is done with hands on hips, as if they're 'schooling' me. Anyway, if I put money on their timing, I would be stupid rich. Occasionally, this is frustrating because there are OTHER PEOPLE IN THE ROOM who might not want to hear Jay Z or Outkast or whatever. Just because you want to give your boyfriend a lapdance in front of a room full of strangers to the tune of "Butterfly" doesn't mean that everyone else does. JESUS!

4) Plus, there are other songs from other genres that some people might think are just as nice/cool/good/fun to dance to as hip hop, k???

4b) Case in point: The guy sitting right in front of me who knew all the words to all the hip hop records who requested "anything" by Hall and Oates. No shit.

5) Occasionally, (and as happened on Friday) I'm actually in the MIDDLE of playing some really cool *HIP HOP* song, when someone will STILL friggin' ask me to play hip hop. Example: I was playing a remix of "Can I Kick It" by Tribe Called Quest, when someone came up to me and said the following: "Um, (see what I'm saying???) could you PLEASE play some hip hop? I have a huge group of friends with me, and we want to dance..." I suppose my retort of, "UMMM... this IS hip hop" might have been a bit short, but I just couldn't believe it. Then the girl sulked off and pouted to her friends, while another one of them came over and told me how much I sucked, and how it was my duty to make him and his friends dance. This from a person wearing a t-shirt picturing a donkey in a Hawaiian shirt, with the words "Party Your Ass Off - Burbon Street, New Orleans" on the back of it. In my estimation, the type of music he was thinking of was vastly different from what I was thinking of. I replied that it sounded more like a problem with the people he hangs out with than me. He then went around to EVERYONE in the room - including bartenders, bouncers, etc. (and NO, I'm not exaggerating - I watched this happen) to also share his stunning revelation about my abilities with them.

Again, I come back to my point - Alcohol and crazy DO NOT mix.

Now look, I normally have pretty thick skin about such things. I don't typically care about being criticized, particularly by people strike me as gigantic music lemmings. Cause, at the end of the day, I'm going to play what I want anyway. HOWEVER, after 5 hours of standing in one place, spinning records for your entertainment, temperature about 200 degrees from my vantage point, not being able to pee, choking on your cigarette smoke, kindly don't get shitty with me because I won't play that fucking song you already heard on the radio 6 times that same evening. Oh, and your shirt is stupid, and it makes you look like an asshole.

Got it?

Rant complete. I will now step slowly away from my soap box.

1 comment:

dj lil'e said...

This is a note from my dear friend, dj Will Eastman (he's not a blogger member - shame, shame - so I shall post it for him):

THANK YOU for articulating the view from the record slinger's side of the decks, e! Yes, we exist to service drunk club-goers' desires to hear every single crappy radio hit. Oh, and to make sure people wearing stupid t-shirts get laid.

My personal favorite, besides the ubiquitous Pulp and Blur requests, and you might appreciate this one: "Um, can you play some 80's music?"

That said, I love playing Hip-Hop, New Order and the occasional pop classic... just trust us a bit, will ya, drunk guy in the stoopid t-shirt!? You'll hear something you like; maybe something you didn't even realize you like... It's not as though we woke up yesterday and said, "Oh, I think I'll be a dj tomorrow night. That looks easy."

Will E.