Play Something Cool, DJ
For awhile, last Sundays gig cruised positively. First I warmed up with some rock tunes. Then, I drifted to some hip-hop. As I did this, I noticed two women dancing near the bar counter.
Speaking of bar counter, again I was sitting at the far right corner of it, typical of my Sunday night gigs at The Peacock. Room. The Peacock Room exists a five minute drive away from Downtown Orlando, Florida. August marks my being there for a whole year.
As I focused on people having a good time, a friend of mine walked up to me. At least, I thought he was a friend.
“Virtual DJ,” he went.
The dude’s name was Ray, a white guy who fixes computers.
Virtual DJ is the software I use for gigs.
“I have that,” he said.
“How much you paid for it?” I went.
He ignored my question and stated touching my laptop. Because he ignored my question, I guessed Ray had illegally downloaded the software.
“Go to the sound effects,” he said and pressed my computer to the sound effect page.
“No!” I yelled and changed back to the previous page.
After all the fixing I did with my software, the last thing I needed was someone screwing things up. When I first got it, Virtual DJ automatically altered the BPMs of the songs. Let’s say the playing song is 95 BPM (beats per minute). If the next song I choose is 125 BPM, the 95 BPM song automatically speeds up to 125. And when this happens, Snoop Dogg starts sounding like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Also, when I first got Virtual DJ, the sound effects automatically came on. Both the BPM and sound effects I had fixed to prevent them from automatically working. Now, here was Ray fucking with things.
“You’re just now learning the program, aren’t you?” said Ray.
I remained quiet. Actually, I had the program for a year.
Ray left, and I was pissed. This wasn’t the first time an “expert” played know-it-all with me. True enough, “experts” of all ethnicities and races worked on my last damned nerves. Still, most of them were white. Refusing to drop their racial superiority complex, some white people still can’t resist telling black folks what to do. No wonder many of them have problems with a black president. For once, here’s a black person they can’t boss around.
I remained focus on keeping the atmosphere positive. Around 11:30, I placed more focus on hip-hop and dance music. By this time, another woman danced at the bar counter as other folks head nodded to the beats.
Somewhere in the mix, I played Travis Porter’s “Make It Rain”, a hip-hop song.
Again Ray walked up to me.
“Stop playing that ghetto ass music. Play something cool.”
Him saying “ghetto ass music” struck the wrong guitar string with me.
I pointed to the head nodding people.
“Don’t you see those people moving to the music?” I said.
“No, they aren’t,” said Ray.
“Yes, they are.”
“Play something cool. Play the Cure. You’re just iTuning it. You’re not spinning. I can DJ better than that.”
“Well, do it!”
Ray began leaving. Still, I kept yelling.
“Get your own gig and do it!”
I knew what this was about. I had the gig and he didn’t. And his jealousy was getting the best of him.
Actually, I mix by notes. Every song contains one main note. Some notes mix well with others and some don’t. Virtual DJ tells you the notes. Sometimes it gets it wrong. A song saying C could actually be a G song..
Also, I attempt keeping the songs within the five BPM range. If the current song is 100 BPM, the next song could either be 95 BPM or 105 BPM.
I don’t always follow the methods. Still, I use it as my guide.
Despite the annoyance, I remained focus on the mix. By this time, I noticed some bikers nodding to my music.
At the tail end of my gig, I walked outside. The bikers were getting ready to leave.
“Don’t you play at Little Fish?” one asked.
“Yea,” I said.
As he and I shook hands, we hugged.
I never forgot the night bikers partied to my mix. Now, they’re recognizing me at other gigs.
Some folks may be better DJs. Despite that, I still get my props.