A Short History

Let’s go way back in the ‘50s where the DJs started gaining relevance as they were the people in charge of the music and they would show up at parties and play slow-paced songs. Things changed forever in 1973 when DJ Kool Herc started experimenting with different techniques, like mixing back and forth between records that are identical. The idea of creating something original from already existing music began to take form, and thus turntablism was born. In the mid-1970s, hip hop began to emerge, and it was made of four elements: DJing, MCing, graffiti, and b-boying. While hip hop was slowly being created in the US, Europe started to fully embrace dance-pop, which was otherwise known as disco. That trend continued up to 1982 when disco music died almost completely, while in mid-1980’s techno music was born in Detroit.

In the ‘90s we are introduced to the rave scene which changed the image of DJs completely and finally gave them a shot at becoming stars themselves and that gave them the opportunity to tour all over the world. Things changed even further in 1998 when Nathan Burton ditched the vinyl in favor of computers. While at the start of the new millennium, the advances in technology made it possible for new sounds to be created, thus giving the DJs more opportunities.

The respect for DJs is always on the rise, and radio DJs have become iconic to many fans out there. Especially if we’re talking about hip hop DJs that have been part of radio shows for decades now and have a massive following. Funkmaster Flex and Dj Envy are among the most famous hip hop radio personalities that you will find out there, and they are part of HOT 97 and Sirius XM Radio respectively.

While DJ Envy became famous in the early 2000s, Funkmaster Flex has been a part of Hot 97 since 1992 and is his status as a legendary DJ is undoubted.

Club DJs usually play at festivals, bars, music venues, and private events. To produce a non-stopping flow of music, they mix recordings from many sources using different techniques. While residents are the DJs that perform at a venue permanently or on a regular basis, that means that they have an agreement to perform on specific dates and in a particular event or place. Usually, these DJs perform two to three times a week.

Hip hop DJs are only a fraction of the number of DJs since famous names like Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, and Martin Garrix among others have entirely transformed the pop scene globally. It’s quite common to see new pop stars rise into stardom thanks to features with famous DJs. We’re used to seeing the biggest summer hits belong completely to DJs and that trend it seems that it will only continue in the years to come.