Editorial Pt. 1: Making the Switch from Hip-Hop to House/Mash

Like most DJs around my age, when I first started spinning, it was nothing but urban music.  Lots of Bad Boy, Jigga, and Luda with some Rnb and Reggae mixed in between.  When I did play house music (I called it “techno”), it was usually a three song set, with the three most commercial songs of the moment —  “Sandstorm”, “Zombie Nation”, etc.  I really just looked at that mini-set as something the owner wanted me to do.  I pretty much thought anything besides hip-hop at the club was wack, so the dance music set was just an after-thought to me.  Isn’t it funny how things can change?

Back then, I didn’t know BPMs like I do today.   But I did know that house music was waaaaaay faster than everything else I was playing, and maybe this is why I somewhat despised playing it.  It ruined my mix!!   Plus, it was guaranteed that when you played any electronic stuff back then, at least one-third of the crowd would be making that cut-throat motion, telling you to “take that wack shit off!!”   While you still may get that reaction occasionally, it’s definitely been reduced from what it was 8-10 years ago.  Just about everyone likes house music now, whether they know it or not.  (I still get a kick out of people telling me to “turn off the techno and play ‘Krazy’ by Pitbull.”)

However, It still isn’t easy for me to explain why exactly I’ve warmed up to electronic music.   Most likely, it’s because I’m not as into the new hip-hop that’s coming out, and it’s given me a chance to open my eyes to other stuff.  These days, most rhythmic tunes are either 75-85 bpm or 120+.   I’m a 90-100bpm REAL HIP-HOP dude at heart.  This means half the stuff I play nowadays seems way too slow to me.   It got to the point where I started appreciating the 130 bpm remixes of the down-south tunes, because it made it much more danceable in my eyes.  And as for the faster songs that were coming out, I guess some of those started to grow on me as well.

In addition to that, the whole mash-up movement made me think of house music differently.   As someone who mainly listened to and played hip-hop, I obviously knew and respected Crooklyn Clan (DJ Sizzahandz and DJ Riz).  They made the dopest party breaks, that although may have crossed over into commercial clubs, were still very “street” and incorporated the real Hip-Hop that I loved.  When I first heard about their new website CrooklynClan.net, my first thought was “Dope!  I can find some new party breaks!”  Instead, what I found on there really blew my mind.  Now, obviously I had heard mash-ups before I checked the site.  I had even experimented with some of my own from time to time.  But now to see two DJs who I really respected in the Hip-Hop community, now using all genres of music — it really opened my eyes to a whole new world.  It also made me think of house music in a different way.  Riz’s mash of “Let Me Clear My Throat” over Benassi’s “Satisfaction” put my brain in overdrive.  1) Wow.  2) I wish I thought of that. 3) It’s time for me to start doing stuff like that!  I guess I had never considered the possibilities.

Taking dance music, and mixing it with other genres, also helped to change the public’s perception of electronic music.  While there still are a few people in the crowd making sad faces as the bpms go upward, they are now few and far between.  The can connect with the Crooker’s remix of Day and Night, because it sounds enough like the hip-hop hit they know, just more danceable.  They love hearing the older techno songs they recognize, with some Lil Jon hype on top, such as DJ Nova’s mix which we covered yesterday.  Plus, whatever barriers the mash-up game didnt kick down in terms of people’s outlook on  house, Pitbull then came by and SMASHED them down!!  It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.  Pitbull isn’t the best rapper out, nor the worst, yet he is as responsible for the way music has changed in the last few years as anyone else in the game.  As I hinted earlier, some of these 22 year old girls don’t even realize it.  They love The Nightcrawlers and HEART Federico Franchi!!

So now that I had finally convinced myself  that I was into house music, it was time to start playing it in the club.  THAT was definitely not as simple and easy as I had thought it would be, and JD and I will discuss that subject with our friend Richard Fraioli in a special PT. II video of this Editorial.  Check back soon!!

—-Spring—-

20 comments

  1. I felt the same way.. This is very true and I’m sure this goes for a lot of DJs out there.

  2. What I find funny about this is I am the absolute exact polar opposite. I always loved house music, and spent my time listening to the bigger names in house back in the early 2000’s, countless hours of BBC Radio1 Essential Mixes, tons of HUGE NYC residents, and world class dj’s alike. The young kids today who unknowingly play Masters At Work samples in their crooklyn clan mashes have no idea who MAW is even now. Lil Louis who? Felix da Housecat what? I could not stand post-2000 hip hop at all (also unfortunately the time I started djing), which made me go back and find all the tracks that were hot during the 90’s that still blow away this lil wayne / young money / drake rectal vomit. I hated hip hop, but I learned to appreciate what the genre was at it’s peak (pre 2000).

    Back in 2003 when everyone was shitting their pants to an incoherent Lil Jon yelling “Get Low,” I was at the local record store picking up stuff like this on vinyl: (started buying vinyl in 1999)

    http://www.discogs.com/Rune-Calabria/master/45622

    (yes, they were called Rune before they changed their name to Enur) — which was the huge house hit before Pitbull rapped over it in spanglish and called it The Anthem… all things considered though, how can anyone hate a guy that brought house back to the limelight.

    When I see groups like the crooklyn clan mash up guys going down to the WMC, I have very mixed feelings. I’m glad that younger 22 – 23 year old djs are getting into house, but I’m annoyed that I had an ear for it when it was released, and these same dudes were shitting all over the genre. It’s bittersweet. Crooklyn mashes and remixes made it more tolerable for me to play hip hop sets… and I’m talking more Rock-It! Scientists, and less “hey lemme take this electro track I found on beatport, and throw a sped up hip hop acapella over it ” — BUT — I can’t help but think “where the fuck were all of you before? You’re supposed to be DJ’s with an ear for music.”

    The one comment that Jay wrote that struck a nerve was: “I pretty much thought anything besides hip-hop at the club was wack, so the dance music set was just an after-thought to me,” because a lot of people still have that attitude in clubs today, regardless of how terribly pathetic hip hop has gotten, they are afraid to let go. Still though, I’m glad people have jumped on the bandwagon, but it’s like someone who never cared about baseball becoming a Yankee fan after last season, or as JD and Spring might put it… one who suddenly became a Boston fan after 2004. Welcome aboard, but seriously, where the fuck have you been you damn fair-weather fans?

    Oh, and lastly.. Steve Aoki does not play house music. He hooks up a 1970’s atari console up under the mixer and just holds the mic up to it, while his girlfriend pretends to pleasure herself to the rhythmic sounds of a distorted game of Space Invaders.

  3. Let me premise this with, right now I’m at Mansion in Miami and have seen wolfgang Gartner, MSTRKRFT & Benassi tonight plus a few redbull & vodkas… @Jack That said, I totally see where you’re coming from. Being at the front of the line, it’s hard to are where the back is coming from sometimes. In defense of a lot of djs, they just wrent exposed to House before 2007. By no fault of their own. I didn’t get into house until 2006. Until the “house” was sandstorm, zombie nation & castles in the sky. Lame, right? But I just didn’t know any better. These young cats are the same say, just later to the show. If there’s one thing mashups have done, it’s bring house to the masses. Djs included. In the big picture it’s a REALLY good thing. I completely understand the ” I was there first” mentality. We’ve all been there at some point. It is VERY frustrating, but in the end it’s ok. You still hBe bragging rights :) everyone starts out in one particular genre, based on their surroundings, not what’s right for them. We evolve and learn the good/right way :) lol. Those there first claim seniority. But that’s ok. Those who care understand. Long live house. U make music worth it. In closing I’ll say I was a fan of the Red Sox in 2003!!! lmao they lost that year, but it set up 2004 PERFECTLY!!

  4. @JD, no problem brother.. I’m impressed that you know the difference between “you’re” and “your” whilst drunk as most are incapable of such a task sans the alcohol.. lol. House music lovers used to wait year-round to hear the jams that would come out at the WMC, which would pretty much run the summer.. If you were lucky you got a copy of someone’s live set (I would spend some time over at Nikki Beach if I were you), and you’d spend another three months blasting your crappy set rip in your car in anticipation of getting your hands on the damn vinyl.. it was a grueling process, which is in no-doubt an alien one to members of the instant-gratification generation. We’re all music junkies.. I guess you could attribute the hype behind some of these massive tracks to the younger generation of DJ’s trying to figure out how AM did his Wonderwall mix. Endlessly debated and over-thought, and bootlegged.. All that being said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn, I’m one of hundreds of other dj’s that loved house music but had to endure the masses begging for commercial hip hop for almost a DECADE now. It went from playing a lot of house in clubs in the early 2000’s to now.. where you can sneak in an original that Pitbull sampled if you’re LUCKY… that being said… music is undoubtedly speeding up, so hopefully we will again see a point where a dj can drop a house set to a crowd without familiar hip hop lyrics on top. I never really considered tracks like Sandstorm or Castles in the Sky house music… more along the lines of commercial trance, which is… well.. kinda gay.. No matter though, everyone that wants to learn more about a genre is entitled, and considering the enthusiasm of Jay’s initial post, I’m quite certain you guys will enjoy what you’re hearing the next couple months. For now, after you’ve had 5 or 6 cups of coffee when you get up, check this out, “Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music” — that should keep you busy for a few hours: http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/

  5. Let me start by saying, I have much respect for any DJ who knows there music they play, period! Weather you knew the whole zombie, sandstorm scene then while it was hot then, or transitioned to it now because house is more mainstream acceptable in the masses today, I say it dosnt matter, Ive heard JD and other DJs spin live, and he can play anything house, hip hop, or rock from any time period with ease, and intertwines all these genres. I started as a hip hop DJ, and I wont be repetitive here, but began like how Spring has stated, and I was only doing mix tapes at the beginning of 1990. It was all hip hop, until 1993 for me, when Techno, not even house like say chicago, or new york laid back house, it was straight up techno, like L.A. Styles James Brown is dead, Quadrophonia, and who could forget Human Resources Dominator with that Riff, thatcoinsidently Lady GaGas Bad Romance and some other simular songs have used a simular riff, which Im sure inspired. 1993 was the year of New Yorks Limelight and clubs of that nature, my mixtapes now fell in 2 catagories, hip hop and techno, then as the 90’s progressed I had transitions and mashups of both genres on one tape, simular to what we as DJs do today. However In 1993 I’ll be honest I didnt know what a “Mash-Up” was at that point in time, Im not sure that was even coined back then, however, all those mix tapes, i now listen to, are at leat over 50% mashups. Why did I do it, simple fact that I like many had access to the vinyl acapellas and instrumentals, and was a regular at going into thecity(New York) and having first crack at the most current imports of the time, and so I had these seperate parts of the song so thought it was cool to mix them. Plus most DJs of that time were experimenting with this as well, so i wanted to follow suit.

  6. Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

  7. This is a continuation from my above comment. I feel in todays music market, thier is a progressive trend that people are following like zombies, but sometimes dont know why they are following it, and it dosnt matter to them, because it all falls under, they just like what they hear, and if so will support it. Jay Spring said it best in his editorial. Fast foward to 1997 into the early 2000’s, a memory that stays strong when concerning this topic, is a club both my friend DJ Taino and I had a residency at. At this point I was making my own original house tracks, both Progressive House and my personal favorite at that time, progressive trance with its melodic break downs and airy,breathy pads that took you into another dimension, however, these types of tracks were better played on a long drive somewhere when you just wanted to mellow out or in an after hours club that catered to it, like we had back then. Our format, mainly because the club we were in had a top 40 format, leaning towards hip hop, but had a little less then half being ravers, including our waitresses and bartenders. We came to deciding our format would be, opening with a mellow set of Progressive Trance and House, Vocal House then transition into hip hop as the club packed in. We played the staples like Ian Van Dahl, and limited it to the first 20 minutes, that way we had our asses covered for playing the faster stuff early, and eveyone was pleased. These days it was almost a sin if a Dj played a fast “House” set in the middle of the night, and yes it was different back then, because most hip hop was still in the lower 100s and under as far as BPMs went, So if you thru on a house set and even if your transition was spot on, the crowd figured that you ruined the flow of thier dancing and atmosphere, and at some times this was the case, because there was only a handfull of hits in the Vocal House format that made it onto the radio then, so it was understandably taken that more then half your club patrons were not going to know the underground vocal house that didnt reach the airwaves. So we tryed and tested different dance formats at various points every week in the beginning to see what our crowd was going to like and when they wanted it. We found(Now again this is late 90s to early 2000’s)the first of our 1-3 House sets per night worked good and the first one started from opening 9pm to just under 9:30,(Yeh I know by todays standards thats a long time to play straight House and most def you would lose the crowd these days)however back then it worked, and as we all know if a set or genre or just a song works, and i mean works then stick by it to a certain degree. The club owners were proud to see this early “House” format we played drew people to the club early along with other incentives, like free admission before a certain time, and thats why we did it. We always looked as Djing, even from our mobile days , as a buisness first, and we just so happened to get paid to play. Also we found by playing the more mellow house early a couple of things were in play, Alcohol sales were up in the first hour, because as we know, the few clubbers you have in the building at the beginning of the night dont dance, because the tone of the night has not yet been established, or thier not buzzed yet, and a lot of people feel insecure being the only ones on the floor, without thier peers embracing thier dancing antics. (Of course we always enjoy seeing the already drunk people from drinking all day go straight to the floor and dance like its the last time theyll ever dance again no matter what is being played!) Most people, like myself, would go to the bar maybe get a drink with friends, sit down and embrace the music in a different way. More analysis is going on in a more straight foward way at this point. A not so drunk person still can determine a good or bad song at the beginning of the night, and like myself I could early on in the night appreciate what the Dj is mixing up, even though to most its just backround tunes being played until the good danceable stuff comes on.None the less the club owners saw this strategy worked, and after we told him why we were doing it, mainly looking out for the club, he was astonished on how 2 DJs would care about the clubs finacial being, as he told us DJs in the past would just come in and play what ever they wanted and never take direction from anyone, if the music ever got to out of control. I feel being a CSB grad had a lot of influences and taught me well on when and when not to play certain formats to a specific target audience. I had to learn Radio formats, and how stations have to play a certain format at a certain time, and stick to it, to target thier demographic audience, and I attended back in 1990 at 16 years old, so I was well aware of formats when I started Djing Bars and clubs back in 1997.

    Playing music on vinyl then apposed to Serato Mp3s today, you had to stay concience of your record lengths and how much you played of it. When it came to House 12″s they ran sometimes between 6-10 min. and sometimes more, so just because you knew you had the time to run out of the booth for a beer, didnt make it cool to play that one track in its entirity. As it was almost more times then not, even playing 3 tracks of house that are clearly different songs, to people who just werent feeling house, they would say, all three songs sounded the same, and it sounded like one continuous song, which always made me laugh, because reggae mixtapes would specialize in having the same “riddem”(beat) sometimes thru the whole mixtape, and only the artist would change! Keep in mind in the late 90s early 2000’s, there was no Serato, the only thing I think was was Final Scratch, I believe, then in 2001 I was messing with PCDJ, but never at my recidencies, it was more a novelty that was fun to mess with at home, and never could imagine it being stable at a gig, noe the less hard drive space was at a minnium back then as you all know. Also just the opposite as it is today, In the 1990s and early 2000’s, if you dared play a song for just a minute or so, especially a “Hot” track, and then segued into another without giving it at least 2 verses and 2 choruses, you were guaranteed to lose the floor. Coming from the original casette mixtape days, I tried to cram as many songs as possible into one volume, although back then clubs played songs longer, I use to take heat for switching up a song to early, however, those tapes stay current today with early out segues and transitions. Like JD mentioned,Castles was a definite hit, however it didnt work in the “peak house” set we would play later. At peak we had to play the more hyped, energetic zombie, darude sandstorm and marc et claudes “tremble”, another big one. Castles being a commercial hit, as well as Alice Deejays “better off alone”, they were blowing up on radio, however they just didnt posess the energy as the night progressed, and we tryed to make it work back then, by adding hyped up beats and playing x-mix and ultimix versions, but it always lost the dancefloor because it wasnt even the length of it being played, it was that when most heard not even the first couple of bars, some came off the floor directly to the booth and said “this is shit, play some more hip hop, nobody wants to hear this, like spring said, we too would only play 3 songs tops of this genre.

    it was in 2003, when i first caught the sounds of early electro house, I was living in florida for a bit, and breakbeat was huge, as well as my friend would play the lil jon stuff as well, as I came back to my hometown, I was Djing a residency, when I finally figured out how the music scene as a whole, both in clubs and on radio, was changing from when I started Djing in the late 90s up here. Also I was kind of sick of playing a lot of progressive house and trance, as the days of clubs like insomnia and bar with no name(at least for us) had peaked, and interest in that scene was not just lost, but morphing into something else. Clubs now were playing the dirty south hip hop, and the tempos were much faster then the hip hop I was used to . Honestly, it wasnt unil 2005-2006 when i realized how I liked electro house, and more then that, electro house for me as a music producer was a viechle and an outlet to put a lot of the genres i loved under one roof. In The 1990s you played your under 80-100 BPM set, then you used that one great transition at the time or “explosion break downs” as we called them back then to seque into the faster house 120+ or vice versa. Today even though there are still BPM differences DJs must transition to, there is a fine line it crosses, because as Spring stated, there are so many people that are lovin the “House” or “Electro” sound, and not even knowing it!

    I see the music of today is evolvig into what always happens in music, Saturation of either a certain genre, or sound that every artist copies, floods the market, then the innovators come around, and say “Im gonna change things up a bit, or a genre like dirty south catches on, and then that gere becomes mainstream. Remember, back in the late 70s, early 80s, songs like planet rock were dance tunes, with hip hop flows over them. Kraftwerk and groups of that nature were being sampled by these “Innovators” that wanted to do something new,and that was at hip hops infancy, Now in this decade, music seems to be swaying back to the feel good dance music with rap flows on top. Flo Rida sampling Eifel 65s Blue,Wiz Khalifas Say Yeah samples Alice Deejays Better Off Alone, and emotional by cassely samples Johnny Os fantasy Girl, One of the biggest Latin Freestyle songs of the 80s. In the 90s I used to use a term called The “Madonna” Syndrome, or “Michael Jackson” Syndrome. And what that ment was, we would analyze how many people would dig a song or just crowd the dancefloor if a certain artist they liked or respected came on, and more then not, it never failed, it could be a not so hot song from the artist they love, but just because thier voice was on it, they would love it. If you think of groupies that in the 80s were infactuated with the likes of Jackson and Madonna, no matter what the song, the hardcore fans embraced it, and liked it automatically, I saw this in a lot of people who would after I would say, I cant believe Micael made just an O.k. song compared to his great big hits, and they would say, so, its Michael Jackson, it dosnt matter what the song is, its great, its the best. Take Pitbull for example, he was well respected for his early albums like m.i.a.m.i., and had a dirty south appeal, however this was well before he ventured into the house side of things like Krazy or Hotel. So if you can see my point, true pitbull fans that liked his slower hip hop side, followed and liked his hip-house style he does today, and of course im using pitbull as an example because he was mentioned in the editorial, but its that syndrome, of if you are an infacuated with an artsist, you may very well like most of what they do, even if they flip the script on you and use genres that youve never listened to before, you start liking those never before heard genres, because of what your favorite artist did to them, and suddenly, at least commercially, a once corny or lame genre, now becomes hip. My question is why does it take rapping over house to become hip. In my opinion there are too major reasons. 1. Hip Hop is more commercially friendly and is the mainstream in top 40 to some extent. The songs I came up listening to like “Sandstorm” were hype in thier own sense when they came out as the instrumentals they were, however sprinkile some hyped up lil jon or fatman scoop over it, and it brings it up to the next level. People when there a little tipsy like to sing along with what they know or hear on the radio, so even if you flip the music genre on them, as soon as the vocal hook of a hip hop or top 40 acapella is heard over those different beats, they start feeling good and start singing and jumping around, and because your using a hyped up house track under it, it just adds more fuel and adrenaline to what they are already hearing vocally!

  8. Dude I’m on the same page as you Spring. Well written!!!

  9. Whats good everyone! hope all is well- After reading everyone’s comment, I gotta say that I know were each one of you is coming from. I got into the DJ game later than most dj’s. Music has always been a passion in my life and it will continue to be. I started out as an International DJ playing music from all parts of the world. The emphasis there was “Techno”. Alot of european commercial songs were techno derived. I can feel springs pain when he said that when he dropped electronic music, he got the cut throat signs. As far as this hip-house movement, ITS OK! This is excellent for both genres of music. I have always had a passion for hip-hop. going back to A Tribe Called Quest, Jay Z, Early LL Cool J, etc… So this movement is actually a good sign.

    As most of you know, house music goes into many sub-categories. When you can drop a hip-hop acapella over a house music track that is not commercial, then you achieved your goal! hip-hop is hip-hop and it will always be apart of me………Just because you transition to stay up in the music game doesnt change what kind of DJ you are. You are just showing respect to the evolving music- Whic is what dj’s are supposed to do. The key to being a great DJ, aside from having a good ear, is being true to who you are as a musician! There are alot of other DJ’s that want to get into house right after they come back from WMC. It dosen’t work like that…..The house genre is so intense that you have to live that lifestyle. Same goes for hip-hop, ITS A CULTURE. To conclude this little reply, Do what you need to do to keep the crowd going, but stay true to yourself and what you are within your mixing style!

    Peace,
    KiKo

  10. Spring, you took the words right outta mouth.

  11. Hip hop has come full circle. The originators rapped over disco beats. Pitbull rapping over Nicola Fasano or Frederico Franchi is like Sugar Hill Gang rapping over Chic. Everything is cyclical. Wait around and things will certainly change again. I’m just excited by the current musical landscape – so fun to see such great collaborations and ideas coming from it.

  12. Im still waitng for pitbull to remix House of God or the Perculator

  13. “The house genre is so intense that you have to live that lifestyle.”

    This is the piece of the puzzle most DJs crossing over to house music do not understand. You may be able to mix flawlessly, you may have a slew of unreleased bombs in your crate, you may use efx and looping in stunning ways, but you’ll still lack an appreciation of what truly makes house music great. The lifestyle, which can be VERY hazardous to your health, takes some serious dedication. It means being covered in sweat at 1 in the afternoon on a Sunday, shaking from exhaustion. You keep pushing yourself to the limit because you know thats when the music goes from great to amazing. My body has begged me to leave the club, yet I can’t count the times that the music kept me dancing for hours and hours beyond that point. When Celeda sings “Let the music use you up,” I KNOW what she’s singing about. My point is that without spending a better part of the last decade immersed in the subculture, I wouldn’t have a concept of how to craft a proper house set.

    If you’re accustomed to playing open format/commercial format clubs, this information might not be very useful to you. Your focus is banging out a hit parade that’ll have the 20 something ladies singing along and throwing their hands up in the air. For that type of audience, house means Pitbull and Black Eyed Peas and thats just fine. Just be advised that if you’re looking to spin “house nights,” tracks like that are very inappropriate whether or not they have a 4/4 beat. On that same note, I’d suggest not relying too heavily on electro bangers…..a set full of Afrojack is just plain annoying, and as a DJ its even more annoying that people who are relatively unfamiliar with house music consider this the blueprint for the entire genre. Loud screeching noises may pack alot of punch and create some energy, but a house set shouldn’t be built around such superficial bells and whistles.

  14. @Jeff Durand.. I agree dude.. I think one of the issues the younger guys that are just getting into house is that they *think* it’s just like hip hop, and you can just slap together what Aoki was playing. AM was one dude who “learned” how to play house the right way. My understanding of the whole thing was that he came up with hip hop… caught Daft Punk at Cochella or some festival, and, quite rightfully, wet his pants. I think there are pictures of him going nuts somewhere. That’s a good example there.. he didn’t just start playing “One More Time” like your average noob who knew nothing about the genre would, he went and listened to all Daft Punk’s albums and started screwing around with a ton of their tracks. The point here is… learn your history, and do your research. House is not new, regardless of what crooklyn dj is putting out a cd that says “So and so DOES house” —- that does NOT mean so and so KNOWS house. Miami should be very educational to everyone down there for the first time.. My only fear is that a ton of the new jacks come back and decide that they are house music producers now, and crooklyn clan becomes interchangeable with Rated H. Let’s make something clear… RATED H is NOT the same thing as BEATPORT… or djdownload, etc etc. The guys on beatport know what they are doing, as they’ve honed their craft over a number of years. If I start to see mixes of classic Subliminal (major house record label for the young folks) tracks with LMFAO acapellas thrown on top, I’m not going to be a happy camper..

  15. @Jeff Durand Thanks for using my quote…….I couldn’t agree with you more! @Jack, your correct my friend…….

  16. i started spinning around 1985 – played a lot of the parties where i went to college, played on the radio, played in some clubs, etc. for a pretty mixed crowd – black/white/straight/gay/etc – at that time the split in music would be about 50/50 house/hip-hop with a little dancehall and soca thrown in (Jamaican background) – EVERYBODY would dance to everything, all the early hip-hop stuff, and all the early house stuff (fingers, marshall jefferson, etc.) it was really a great vibe – house worked itself up to a pop crescendo in the early 90s with C&C Music Factory, Black Box, Snap! and so on , and then all of a sudden there was a split – you never heard hip-hop and house in the same spot – at this point I had already gone to doing mostly West Indian parties/clubs, so I was spinning mostly dancehall and soca anyway, but it used to burn me that I couldn’t drop the house jams again. Fast forward to now – I’ve gone back to house and re-discovered my original love for it…

  17. Very well written Spring, reading that made me realize how many DJs came up the same way I did. This website is refreshing every time I check it out!

  18. Reminds me on a trending topic I started a few months ago on Twitter #SongsPitbullShouldSample and I started name dropping popular house, electro, dubstep & DNB tunes. Everyone told me to “SHUT UP! STOP GIVING PITBULL IDEAS”… I heard from a friend that Pitbull read all those tweets and looked up a few of the titles. LOL

  19. I actually read this entire article and all the entries. Let me say that in 2010, We live in a vibrant musical era. So many genres, yet people are up on game about the open format movement and variety. I myself started as a hiphop DJ originally, then was invited to a “RAVE” and that pretty much changed my perspective on music at that point. House music continues to thrive the way it always has evolved. I was blessed to catch superstars before they became household names, such as Mark Farina, Miguel Migs, DJ Dan, Donald Glaude and Simply Jeff to name a few. Im glad to still see them rocking to this day. I was exposed to every genre imaginable in the raves, from GOA TRANCE to Deep House to the sound that captivated me in 1996, DRUM&BASS. To this day, outside of my hiphop/top 40/club gigs, I still play DNB at raves and underground shows. I have a friend in Sacramento who DJ’s and opens for alot of big DJ’s and the money he makes, He funds his DNB shows. So many genres out there and we are out there putting the pieces to this biug musical puzzle together so folks can keep their rumps shaking on a nightly basis. This is a great time musically speaking.

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