Episode 6 – DJ Competitions

Question: How do you know who the best Hip Hop DJ in the world is?

Tony Prince

Tony Prince

The usual way to find out the best of something is with a competition. Well, we’ll start there. Disco Mix Club b.k.a. DMC, not to be confused with legendary rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC fame, started out having DJ contests in the early 1980s. The contests were for dance music DJs. That all changed when DJ Cheese entered in 1986 and introduced scratching to that contest. DJ Cheese won that year. It set a new precedence for the DJ competition and this became a pivotal point in DMC too. I’m sure the staff at DMC was wondering “Do we continue to allow Hip Hop DJs in this competition or try to get back the old format?” Tony Prince president of DMC and the rest of the DMC staff thought about it and decided to change the contest to be a Hip Hop DJ contest and the rest is history. The prestige of DMC eventually rose to the point where if you won DMC then you were the best in the world.

DMC Logo

With all due respect to DMC, there was another credible contest out around the same time by the New Music Seminar Organization. The legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff from DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince was a winner in one of those competitions. However the DMC contest really took off and ended up becoming the official way to prove you were the best DJ in the world. This was not just a local UK event because the DMC contests were in London, England. There were DJs from all over the world trying to win this competition. Now one could say “I’m the best in the world since I beat the best DJs in the world.”

As DJing has evolved, so has DMC in their contests but we are going to have to leave those evolutionary jumps for other segments.

DJ Cheese

DJ Cheese

Simply put… Before there was no real way to know who was the best Hip Hop DJ and after DJ Cheese and DMC there was a recognized forum and competition to find out who the best Hip Hop DJ was and that is how DJ Cheese and DMC changed the game.

If you have any discrepancies to what you just heard, comments on what you just heard or have new ideas on who or what changed hip hop and I will challenge your ideas too then send an email to patrick@patrickscientific.com

Until next time peace

Audio Verison as done originally on Strictly Hip Hop on WEAA 88.9 FM below.

Notes – DMC Hall of Fame:

Anyone who wins a DMC World competition whether it be World Supremacy, regular or team competition is automatically entered into the DMC Hall Of Fame and this would include people like DJ Cash Money, DJ David, DJ Craze, DJ A-Trak, Q Bert, Mix Master Mike, DJ Apollo and of course DJ Cheese. However they decided to put other DJs in their Hall of Fame due to the contribution to DJing. These include the Afrika Bambaataa for everything he has done, The Original Jazzy Jay, Grand Master Flash for inventing cutting, Grand Wizzard Theodore for inventing scratching, Grand Mixer DXT (F.K.A Grand Mixer DST) for being the first Turntablist and inspiring so many DJs, DJ Stevie D for Beat Juggling which he called “Bringing the Funk,” DJ Marley Marl for his contributions in music production as a DJ and to the for-mentioned DJ Jazzy Jeff for his contributions as well.


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  • Ronnie Don

    Pat I totally agree. I have watch a few of the battle U.S. and World Wide. Having to battle another dj from the otherside of the planet aint like the dude from accross the street. Im sure watching past battles and studying styles to win this was not something to pass by. So yea beating the best of the best and the best worldwide you should get that title if you pull it off.

    • Anonymous

      I have a lot of the VHS Tapes myself. What those DJs do is crazy? I
      can’t even imagine preparing for a battle with people from all over
      the globe. I might have a clue what the guy across the street is going
      to do but I’d be wondering what the guys from Russia, England, Spain,
      France and Switzerland are going to do! Thanks for your comment.

      Quoting Disqus :

  • DJ Fredro

    What’s really amazing is how technology has found a way to mimick the artistry set forth by pioneer DJs and turntablists. Hip hop DeeJaying is a direct result of poverty and music programs being taken out of the schools throughout the ’80s. Young urban kids in droves began picking up microphone or turntables or tape decks (pause button mixes), instead of bass guitars, saxaphones, and drum sets of the 70’s. Now technology has taken the art out of the artistry of DeeJaying. Competitions like DMC are relevant to keep the hands-on aspect of DeeJaying alive. It does, in a sense, prove that you are the best!

    DJ Fredro