The state of mainstream hip hop radio (as presented by Clear Channel (r)) in the New York area these days is abysmal, with its only saving grace being Mister Cee's Old School at Noon segment on Hot 97. For the month of February, Mister Cee brought in a guest dj each Friday: Pete Rock, ?uestlove, DJ Premier and Q-Tip. During one of the guest sets - Questlove's tribute to J Dilla on the anniversary of Dilla's passing - Quest complained about the setup of the turntables in Hot 97's studio (you can see in this video that each turntable in the studio is spaced out so that it's about a foot away from the mixer), saying that he was more used to the "Philly style." I had never heard that term - as it turns out, Philly Style is just another way of referring to the fairly common "Battle Style," where each turntable is turned on its side and pushed right up against the mixer - so I looked it up and found a site breaking down all of the various turntable setups. The one that I had never seen before was the "odd style," where the two turntables are set up next to each other rather than divided by the mixer, with only one turntable turned on its side so that the dj can put the needles from both turntable onto the same record.
You really have to see the odd style in action to fully appreciate it, and the only clip I could find of it is the above video from DMC champ DJ Woody. At the 3:33 mark of the video, Woody puts the two needles onto the same record and spaces them so that each needle is one full beat apart. This lets him beat juggle with just one turntable, something that he takes a step further at the 4:26 mark by needle dropping both of the needles. If you're a dj nerd, this is fairly mind blowing.
In any event, each of the dj sets for Black Fist Friday (or #blackfistfridays for the SEO minded among you) is well worth a listen. Questlove's Dilla Tribute is probably the best of the bunch, but all of them are significantly better than any other mix you're likely to hear on the radio this year so go check them out. Here are all of the download links for each Black Fist Friday set:
And finally, someone on Facebook recently passed along the clip below of Public Enemy's DJ Lord. During PE's golden era, there was a lot of debate over whether Terminator X actually did any of the scratching in the studio or if it was all the work of Johnny Juice. Terminator X is too busy running an ostrich farm these days to respond to any of the allegations, but after watching this clip it's clear at least that DJ Lord will never be accused of using a ghost dj to handle the album scratches:
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