Posted tagged ‘hip hop’

Dope OPeratic: An Exiciting Orlando Hip Hop Showcase

June 5, 2012

After a happy hour gig at Orlando’s Peacock Room, Dope OPeratic happened.  Going down once a month, the show increasingly gains a huge following.  I didn’t have my proper camera ready.  Yet, I took photos with my pocket camcorder.

I liked this guy. He played Lord Finesse.

A female Heineken rep showed.  This is her posing with my buddy Lex.

Mad Illz and Swamburger, two local hip-hop legends.

The next show happens June 21.  Of course, I’ll be there.

“Bitches” and Nasty Rap Music

March 27, 2012

The Peacock Room DJ gig happened the day after St. Patrick’s Day. After folks partying heavy on a Saturday night, expecting a huge turn-out on a Sunday would have been unrealistic, even if it was my birthday.

One of the first people to arrive was Keith.

He normally attends my gigs in Sanford.  Tonight, I was in Orlando.  Just for my birthday, Keith took the forty to forty-five minute drive to get here.

Another early person was Mindy, one of the most nicest people I ever met.

She offered to help me setting up my equipment.  Yet, I really didn’t need it.

I started out with mostly soul music, 80’s and 90’s.  Then, I shifted more into hip-hop.

As the night went on, I kept photographing.

As I played Geto Boys’ “Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta.”   Four thirty-something dudes began came to the room where I DJed and began dancing.  All four were white. For some reason, one kept throwing paper napkins on the floor.

They were nice, tho.  One bought me a Guiness and Napkin Man tipped me five dollars as I played all his 90’s hip-hop requests.

“Can you play ‘Rack City” by Tyga?” Napkin Man asked.  “We’re with some bitches and they don’t know about the music you’re playing. They want to hear ‘Rack City’.”

As I played the song, the “bitches” did come to the room.  Yet, they ignored Napkin Man and his friends.

Napkin Man and his crew left.

I guess the “bitches” weren’t with them.

There were two groups of women. Another group did want to hear the old school I was playing.  So, I went back to that, too.  As long people are having fun, I don’t give a fuck.

Of course, I kept photographing.

Something I recently learned about women and nasty rap lyrics.  They love it just as much as the dudes.  Yet, they hate music that calls them a bitch or a ho.  I can understand that.  I’ll just watch it with the Too Short Music.

Me in the middle. Jessica Pawli on the left. Victoria Rosario on the right.

No More Rock Stations…and I don’t give a shit!

December 23, 2011

I’ll be honest with you.  I’m a DJ who doesn’t own a car stereo.  To keep update with music, I check the charts.  Also, when someone asks for a latest hot hit, I promise to have the song for them next time…if I like the person.  Sometimes I go to others bars and see what other DJs are playing.

Today, I listened to my portable radio.  Out of curiosity, I flipped through the channels.  What I read in a Rolling Stone article was true, rock radio is dead.  One station (96.5) turned into a right-wing talk station.  Another station (105.9) turned into…Well, I don’t know what the fuck that was.  I heard Supertramp and Donna Summer.  I think 105.9 changed that way back in 2007, a time I did own a car stereo.   The urban and pop stations remained the same.

On rock radio’s demise, some folks blame record companies focusing on older rock acts versus newer acts.  Some blame and include record company’s constantly focusing on pop stars like Justin Bieber.

In years past, some companies expected an artist’s first album to flop.  As the artists matured and grew, companies instead betted on the second or third album to hit pay dirt.  Not so today, many companies are now in for the quick buck.  The sooner, the better.

Another thing, some blame rock radio‘s demise on hip-hop‘s increasing popularity.

If hip-hop helped cause rock radio’s demise, good for hip-hop.  I remember a time rock radio played Prince.  Yet, for some reason, stopped doing it.  Only an idiot would say “Let’s Go Crazy” isn’t a rock song.  Stupidity like that is why I could give two shits about rock radio. Especially when Prince has been labeled a rock star for years.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love rock music.  Some nights, rock dominates my playlist.   Also, it’s a shame new rock artists aren’t being discovered.   In my area (Central Florida), a thriving rock music scene exists.  Some artists I think are worthy of  a record deal.  Still, in today’s musical climate, they probably won’t land one with the majors.

I really don’t know what killed rock radio.  I’m just a man that plays recorded music in small bars.  My only guess is this: Because of the bad economy, people maybe preferring music they can dance and party to. Yes, I am aware of danceable rock music.  Still, they don’t call these folks INDIE for nothing.  Whatever caused the demise, due to its past behavior, rock radio was probably asking for it.

Old School Friday at The Peacock Room

November 28, 2011

Last Friday at The Peacock Room, I played an old school set, 80s/90s hip hop and soul.

Because it was the night after Thanksgiving, I was forewarned business might be slow.

To fit the theme, I decided to wear a hoodie.  I wanted to look my 90s Ice Cube best.

Photo by Joe Austin

Last time I DJed a Friday night at The Peacock Room, some patrons worked on my last damned nerves.  One dude kept shoving his cell phone in my face, showing me his music request.  With others?  After playing their request, they returned and made another request.  Then, after that song, they made another request.  On and on they went with that bullshit, playing the DJ like a jukebox.

Tonight, as I played old school, two separate requests approached me for current artists. One dude wanted to hear David Guetta.  After telling  him tonight’s theme, he later requested Stevie B.  For him I played “Spring Love.” A young blonde wanted to hear A Tribe Called Quest and Kanye West.  After telling her the theme too, we settled on A Tribe Called Quest.  For that I played “Award Tour.”

The two women in the following pic requested Latin Freestyle.  For them I played “Fantasy Girl” by Johnny O.

I decided old school for several reasons.  For one, you can hear the current hits in any other bar or night club.  Two, when it comes to The Peacock Room, it’s wise to DJ with a theme.  Before you know it, patrons start requesting songs and genres you definitely had no intentions playing.  Another reason?  Many Peacock Room patrons are in their thirties and forties, a group who would appreciate 80s and 90s music.

Just like I was told, the crowd remained small.  Still, something surprised the hell out of me.  Normally, I would play The Peacock Room on a Sunday.   After word got out I was going to be here on Friday, some  of the Sunday night crowd showed up.  A small town DJ from Sanford, Florida achieved what some big city Orlando DJs only wish they had, a following.  And does my small following pull an attitude about me using a laptop?  Hellz no!  They are more focused on the music versus my equipment.

When it comes to old school, the only thing I’ll do different next time is playing 80s funk and soul first. Beginning the night with hardcore 90s hip hop can almost clear the bar.  In a bar’s first shift of people, folks just wanna talk.  Cypress Hill telling people to throw their sets in the air is not good background music for chatting.  Next time, just like with Miami booty music,  groups like Wu-Tang and NWA might have to go on after twelve.

Too busy worrying about my mix and heading to the bathroom, I didn’t take any photos until towards the night’s end.


East Coast Versus West Coast Hip-Hop Still Lives

August 3, 2011

One night, during a DJ gig, I cruised into 90s hip-hop, a genre I would play all night if I could.  As Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love” played, some dude took it upon himself to pass around a poll: Should the DJ play East Coast or West Coast hip-hop?  The verdict was East Coast.  Of course, the poll taker was from the East Coast.   And what did I play next?  Dirty South.

On YouTube, I saw this under Tim Dawg's "Fuck Compton", a song released in 1991.

Surprisingly, the East Coast versus West Coast foolishness still exists.   On some YouTube rap videos,  one would see this nonsense in the comments sections.

I think what annoyed me the most was dude pulling this crap in a  Down South bar.  That’s like me, a Southerner, telling a New York bar to play nothing but Dirty South music.   Of course, I would expect a beat down for it.

Another thing annoyed me about this.  From what I was told, East Coast dude was a DJ also. Djs trying to control another DJ’s night irritates the hell out of me.  I find it rude and disrespectful.   I wonder if East Coast dude liked me pulling that same foolishness during HIS gigs.

Because I talked to him in the past, I like East Coast dude.   Yet, that crap he pulled was uncalled for.

I don’t care where the music comes from.  If it gets the women dancing, I’m playing it.

Play Something Cool, DJ

July 13, 2011

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.

Now, this is how you have fun.

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.

Having some fun.

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.