Before his untimely death , DJ AM rose through the ranks to become one of the most sought-after and respected turntablists in the music game. He then took his talent to new heights when he partnered with rocker Travis Barker to form TRV$DJAM, a unique hybrid act consisting of the Blink-182 drummer’s skills and AM’s mixing ability. They released several mixtape projects under the TRV$DJAM banner, including Fix Your Face Vol. 1and Fix Your Face Vol. 2.
The duo took their act to TV when they were tapped to serve as the official house band of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. They weren’t exactly the Max Weinberg 7, but that was exactly the point. The two dynamic musicians united to deliver a fresh take on an old formula, with AM creating a new standard for what it means to be a bandleader. They pulled off the gig with gusto and, more importantly, a passionate enthusiasm for the performances.
Katy Perry, Lupe Fiasco and LL Cool J all took to the stage with Barker and AM backing them. Their sets were unique and filled with the energy of a late-night jam session. AM immersed himself into each set; you would catch him mouthing the words to LL Cool J’s tracks during the hip-hop legend’s performance.
TRV$DJAM hit the road following the VMAs, and shortly after, they were involved in a plane crash that took the lives of the other passengers on their chartered flight out of South Carolina.
Four months after surviving the crash, Barker and AM reunited as an act for a New Year’s Eve party in Los Angeles. They both remained close after the accident. Barker even recently tweeted about an upcoming trip to New York, sounding excited to arrive, perhaps to hang with AM, who was also in town.
“I look forward to playing tonight and then getting in some trouble later in NYC,” he wrote on Twitter. “Got a studio in the city tomorrow, can’t wait.”