If you're dazzled by the sights and sounds of scratching, beat juggling, and all-around turntable trickery, there's only only place to be this weekend.
A worldwide assortment of hip-hop devotees is set to descend upon New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom on September 17 and 18 for the DMC Technics World DJ Championships. After fourteen years in existence, this is, surprisingly, the first time the event is being held in New York.
The elimination round begins on Friday night, and the competition for the World Championship culminates with the main event on Saturday evening. Each combatant will perform a six-minute set and will be judged based on creativity, crowd reaction, and the unique ability to "take it to the next level." Judges tentatively include legendary X-Men Steve Dee and Roc Raida, along with DJ Honda and more to be announced.
All three DJ's will also partake in the first-ever World Team Championships taking place this Friday night. Ten international
teams will compete, including Craze's Allies Crew, which includes the 1997 DMC World Champion A-Trak (a 17-year-old straight-A student), and Infamous, the 1999 MTV Hip-Hop Week DJ battle participant. The competition is fierce, but the scene is tight.
"With turntablism, there isn't a language barrier," Craze told MTV News. "Kids all over the world scratch, and they can relate to you on just scratching. I'll go to Germany and this kid will be talking to me for like a half an hour and I won't understand sh**, and he'll start scratching and I'll be like, 'Oh, all right....' And I'll just jam with him for about a half an hour. We'll communicate just by scratching." "It's worldwide,"
"It's worldwide,"he added. "I went to Japan and there were kids who knew me and knew the whole -- crabs and flares and all this stuff -- and I was like 'damn.' Kids love it everywhere. It's
not just a hip-hop thing. It's a universal thing." [RealVideo]
Craze comes from the East Coast, while U.S. Champ P-Trix comes from the West. Rivalry exists, but only on the decks.
"I've met [Craze] a few times," P-Trix told MTV News. "He's a cool guy. We hang out. We've had sessions before. We practice. It's all good." "I mean, in the DJ community everybody's pretty close. Everybody hooks up at battles. With DJs, nobody really has big heads. They are always down to hook up. People from out of town, you know. I mean, look at all of these crews. People come from different countries, cities and states and hook up in crews. I mean, it's all in love and in fun." [RealVideo]
"I mean, in the DJ community everybody's pretty close. Everybody hooks up at battles. With DJs, nobody really has big heads. They are always down to hook up. People from out of town, you know. I mean, look at all of these crews. People come from different countries, cities and states and hook up in crews. I mean, it's all in love and in fun." [RealVideo]
Along with the battles, the event will also consist of several showcases. Friday night's festivities will also consist of performances by the Rock Steady Crew and the Cold Crush Brothers. Saturday
night will feature a live performance by the X-ecutioners, the legendary New York-based turntablist crew of Rob Swift, Roc Raida, Total Eclipse, and Mista Sinista.
Past DMC champions include Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys DJ), DJ Swamp (Beck's touring DJ), Q-Bert, A-Trak, and Apollo.
For more on the DMC Technics World Championship, go to www.dmcworld.com.
-- Greg Kaplan