By Tamara McCullough, NewsCastic
The beat drops and the party begins. Who’s responsible for that? That’s right — it’s the DJ — and it’s time to give them their due credit by counting down some of the hottest, best and brightest disc jockeys DFW has to offer.
While they may often seem to be in the background, these DJs are proving the art of DJ’ing is not lost through their drive, ambition, entrepreneurship and even community outreach.
Let the drum roll commence — it’s time to check out the DJs whose names you need to know.
DJ’ing for a Cause
While Bruce wouldn’t consider his new DJ’ing mission as one of the hottest, per industry standards, his non-profit DJ’s 4 Charity Foundation is definitely one of the coolest and most noteworthy by its sheer existence.
The 501(c)(3) is the only non-profit of its kind in the country and was developed in 2011 to provide programs and resources for underprivileged children and low-income households through the power of music.
The foundation works with children to provide after-school programs, special events, open houses, fundraisers and more, including DJ 101 classes for various school districts. Though he’s DJ’d all over the place since he was 14, Bruce is focused on giving back with a positive message and changing the world of DJ’ing from being solely business-oriented to being a product for change.
Self-taught and always looking to increase the “turn up” quotient, DJ Ace Ent. (or Ace The DJ) is an Oak Cliff DJ relatively new to the game with just four years on the scene. Starting as a club promoter, becoming a DJ seemed a natural fit, and she quickly flourished with her eclectic mix of hip-hop, twerk, R&B, Old School and kid-friendly music.
With her impressive skills, Ace has opened up for local artists, such a Trapboy Freddy, Yella Beezy, Go Yayo, Blessed Sinner, Lions Den, as well as mainstream artists like Brandy, Mia X, and Trina.
Always looking to improve, Ace hopes to continue to learn, thrive, travel and show the world what a Dallas artist has to offer. In the meantime, Ace is working on her first mixtape titled, “I Told My Hood I Got Em Vol 1.”
The Party Packer
When a DJ at a high school dance just couldn’t cut it, Go DJ Chubb Da Party Packer’s friends encouraged him to give the DJ some of his mixed CD’s to play, and the rest is history. The Pleasant Grove DJ has now been blessing partiers for the better part of 18 years. Music has always been with Chubb since his days in the band, which he pursued from 7th grade through college.
Playing a mix of rap, trap, R&B, old school and hip-hop, Chubb knows how to keep the party going and has been featured in major concerts with the likes of Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Rick Ross, and he even has a mixtape series out now, “Strippers Love My Pole.”
Ultimately, Chubb wants to make it to the radio to be a mixshow DJ to take his brand to the next level, but at the end of the day, he’s living his dream now and doesn’t need too much more.
The Mix Messiah
DJ Darkness — aka The Mix Messiah — is always ready to lead partiers to the promise land with his specialized mix of classic hip-hop, R&B and southern soul, but he plays all genres to make sure everybody gets what they need.
The 14-year vet showcases his overall love of music, which has taken him everywhere from playing in the band and singing in the choir to becoming a recording artist and ultimately leading him to learning the art of being a DJ.
With a storied career, DJ Darkness has been nominated for a slate of high-profile awards like UUA DJ of the Year and SEA Slept on DJ of the Year. He is currently working on a new reality TV series, “Battle of the DJs,” and as part of Hip Hop 101, he has mixed along some of the greats like DJ Cut and DJ Spinderella.
DJ Darkness is known for a number of mixtapes, including the “G.T.D. (Got The Draws)” series and ultimately wants to become an on-air radio personality and travel the world.
Serving It Up
DJ Edgar Blue was inspired to become a DJ after hearing a bass drummer in Deep Ellum, which piqued his interest so much he decided to give it a try and has been doing it ever since 2001.
This McKinney DJ plays everything from old school to hip-hop, funk and bass drum. He has played with bass drum DJ’s and has performed with Chicago’s Atma and Killah Priest from Wu-Tang Klan.
You can catch Blue playing every Tuesday during CoLab (which just celebrated 10 years) at Three Links Deep Ellum and also during Served Sundays at Wits End. With his clothing line, “No Requests,” Blue is always focused on building his brand and doing what he loves.
The DJ and The Radio Personality
DJ CP is not only a DJ but a radio personality for The Weekend Wrecking Crew on The Fishbowl Radio Network, where she has been DJ’ing for the past nine years. Music is part of her lineage since her father (DJ Sly), who she would watch at his shows, helped her to develop her own skills.
CP now plays classic hip-hop and R&B but sees the genres as more than music — a true culture and life. The Weekend Wrecking Crew recently won 2016 Duo Show Hosts of the Year for Fishbowl Radio Network.
Ultimately, CP would love to expand and work as a radio personality on DFW’s Boom 94.5 Classic Hip-Hop, among others.
Ripping It Up
Dallas-based DJ Johnny Rip has been a DJ for 12 years is partly sponsored by a Texas-based clothing line and entertainment company, Aeronotiqz. Over the years, Rip has been inspired by Go DJ A1 and Curt McGurt and began to be a part of showcases for DJ Darkness and Al Square. Now you can catch Rip playing an eclectic mix of hip-hop, old school, R&B, neo-soul, EDM, trap-hop, top 40’s and even some African rhumba.
Always staying busy, he recently received the opportunity to compose a DJ set for Texas artist Shoose McGee for his opening performance with Nipsey Hussle, has a compilation mixtape with DJ Butter and a mixtape series with DJ Darkness that’s in its seventh installment and every Monday hosts/DJ’s at Rip the Mic Live.
The Vet in the Game
DJ Uzi-T is a 34-year DJ veteran who (after seeing a neighborhood friend perform) decided he wanted to throw his hat in, too. With a natural love for music, he plays whatever kind of jams that will initiate a check, including hip-hop, R&B, funk, old school hip-hop, reggae, EDM and blues.
Over the years, he’s been a DJ for a dizzying number of Dallas clubs: RJ’s By the Lake, Lakeside, Spanky’s, Executive Club, GiGi’s, Members Only, The Box, The Shiznit, the original Park Avenue, the original Rumors, Phat Katz, Club Visions, Club Assatas, Truth Nightclub, RealTime Sportsbar and currently at Legends Bar and Grill. He also used to DJ pretty much every party Greg Street threw when he worked at K-104.
His ultimate goal is to establish a residency in Vegas or back in his second home of Los Angeles, California.
The Lady that Rocks the Party
With more than 20 years of experience, Go DJ Lady Ja-Roq started DJ’ing on her home component system with a cassette tape and a record player and would listen to other DJs on the local radio station to try to emulate their mixes and scratches.
From there she developed her own style where she spins DFW underground music, hip-hop, rap, soul, EDM, fusion jazz, soul, disco, old school, house, top-40, pop, reggae and cumbia.
Throughout her career, Ja-Roq has been featured in numerous music festivals, cruise line parties and DJ’d alongside along a number of celebrities.
FB, IG, Twitter: iamladyjaroq.com, mixcloud.com/iamladyjaroq
Booking gigs since high school, DJ Sirgene got his first paid gig in college when he began providing music mixes for Q-Dog parties. A fan of hip-hop and R&B, these genres are regularly included in his spins along with his specialty of new school, a movement of hip-hop that began in 1983 with acts like LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C.
Adapting to the changing art form, Sirgene has noticed a change to DJ equipment but has been able to tailor his style to keep up with the changes.
Having worked in both Houston and Dallas extensively, the DJ appreciates the differences between the two markets and continues to cater to the needs of both the mature and the new school.
The Next Generation
Forth Worth-based Gorilla DJ Loony Toon is making his mark in the world of DJ’ing and is part of the Gorilla DJs syndicate. He’s heavily influenced by DFW’s older DJs scene and keeps striving to do the same.
With a heavy focus on hip-hop, Loony Toon’s hustle never quits, which includes an upcoming mixtape in January (but his “Black Heart Compilation” is already available).