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Rapacon 2016 Celebrates Importance of The DJ In Money Earnin Mt Vernon

Mount Vernon – Hundreds turned out to celebrate peace and music in the city of Mount Vernon, Saturday at “Rapacon presents DJ-Con,” a free back in the day block party styled event on East First Street, which featured 50 DJs and 50 Emcees. Rapacon showed some, reminded others, and introduced everyone else to the vital role the DJ has played in Hip-Hop, both on the third floor or 32 East First Street and outside on East First Street between South Second and South Third Avenues, all day Saturday, from just before 12 noon to almost 12 midnight. In the words of Mount Vernon’s own Hip-Hop legend Heavy D is was ‘Nuthin But Luv’ all day

Mount Vernon, New York, just miles north or the Birth or Hip-Hop, the Boogie Down Bronx has always had a strong hip-hop presence and impact in music as a whole. “Mount Vernon is only, what, four square miles, less than 70,000 people, but it’s had a tremendous impact on music. In particular, hip-hop music. Heavy D, Pete Rock, CL Smooth, Puffy,” says event coordinator Curtis Sherrod.

Curtis Sherrod the event coordinator, got in touch with a friend of his, Mount Vernon Councilman André Wallace, told him what he wanted to do and the councilman helped make it possible. Transferring a major thoroughfare that separates the north and south sides of Mount Vernon into something reminiscing of an early to mid 1980s hip-hop block party.

The amazing HipHop culture event RAPACON returned to New York this past weekend but this time it went down in Mount Vernon! The special “popup experience” was put together to celebrate Mount Vernon’s impact on HipHop. There were a lot of great things that happened throughout the day like the massive DJ and live performance setup outside fort the Mount Vernon 4 Square Peace Project Block Party Jam and The epic and popular DJ-Con featuring over 50 Dj’s going back to back doing what they do! DJ Jazzy Joyce, DJ Jazzy G, Dj D-Ill, Dj Mike Doelo, Dj Spinbad and many more blessed the 1 and 2’s with sick blends, cuts, scratches, transformations and all that it was off the chain! There was also “The Impact Of Mount Vernon” panel featuring HipHop legends DJ GrandMixer DXT, DJ Eric J, Brother Arthur (DJ Islam), DJ Mark & Jay Collins, DJ Booda Khan, DJ City Boy, DJ Sammy D and singer Jeff Redd. – SugarCayne wrote on his website where he also posted 600+ pictures of the momumental event

New Rochelle’s DJ Supreme gave a clinic on the turntables outside on East First Street, Saturday evening as the last act outside before they removed the barrcades to open the block up and moved everything inside to the third floor of 32 East First Street. One look at the video below and you do not need to be a hip hop purest to see how DJ Supreme gives a whole new meaning to beat juggling…

The DJ role has often been overlooked on and off throughout the years as this urban artform went from neighborhood parks where they used power from the street lights for electricity and local community centers to Hip-Hop becoming one of the biggest selling genres when corporate-owned record companies realized they could make some real money exploiting new but powerful artform. In its inaugural days before rap was recorded on vinyl records to be sold in stores, it could be heard in the parks. It was the DJ who was the star. The DJ owned all the equipment including the microphones and The DJ was who the people came out to see. It was all about the DJ.

The DJ would have emcees who would say the DJ’s name on the microphone often while the DJ entertained the crowd playing music and displaying his or her skills on the turntables. The DJ moved the crowd and kept the people dancing. The emcees were often members of the DJs inner circle who helped carry and set up the equipment. Eventually the emcees started not just telling you who the DJ was but who they were and then each emcee would come out and try to outdo the previous emcee with rhymes, vying for more time on the microphone.

Then record companies slowly begin to see the inner city musical expression as something they could manipulate and make money off of and slowly began to sign the emcees and rappers and make them the focal point. The labels slowly tried to phase out the DJ and vinyl records all together, having the rap artists perform off pre-recorded show tapes or DATs and with the release of the Compact Disc. But DJs like Run DMCs Jam Master Jay refused to just be window dressing and continued to be as importance to the live shows as the rappers. DJs like Kid Capri put out mixtapes that would make and break new rap artists and then went on to demand pay as much and sometimes more than some of the rap acts whose music he played.

Here’s a little Hip-Hop 101 History on the Hip-Hop DJ….

In 1973, DJ Kool Herc made a name for himself as the “father of hip-hop,” laying down the jams for huge block-parties, mainly in the Bronx. It was Kool Herc who started mixing two identical records together, at the same time, extending the parts of the records he thought had the best booty-shakin’ beats. This technique he discovered while spinning his sister’s party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue was called the “break.”

Turntablism began to really grow into its own. No longer were DJs simply picking out random songs and playing them. They were now artists and musicians of their own, manipulating songs to create new and exciting beats for people to enjoy for hours. Bands were formed who produced their music electronically from beginning to end, a totally new concept.

In 1975, Grand Wizard Theodore accidentally discovered the scratching technique manually moving the record back and forth on the needle, warping the sound.

There is no way to totally articulate the importance on the DJ in this space here but BW felt the responsibility to attempt to educate and encourage the readers, especially our younger readers to do their homework and research this for themselves. Its important in anything you want to do, to become familiar with those who did it before you. Learning your history is as important as honing your craft.

At Saturday’s popup block party experience, the importance of the DJ’s role in Hip-Hop was highlighted and on full display and with some of the pioneers and founders like legendary DJ Kool Herc who is credited as the Father of Hip-Hop, Grand Wizard Theodore – the inventor of the scratch, DXT formerly known as DST who showed the world the importance of the DJ on Herbie Hancock’s hit single Rock It, Cold Crush Brothers DJ Tony Tone, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Mount Vernon legends like Mark Collins of the Collins Brothers and over 50 more DJs showcased their skills on the turntables and/or educated the audience in a panel discussion.

“The hip-hop DJ’s original mission overall was rocking the house, and to do this he or she needed an arsenal of beats (records). The DJ’s ability to keep a dance floor packed relied on his selection of records. Not only did he have to have radio favorites, he also had to keep up with the latest beats the other DJs had. In addition, he had to have his own collection of obscure beats and this wasn’t an easy task. It was only a matter of time before the other DJs would find out the names of your beats. So, to keep your uniqueness, you had to constantly search for new beats. Thus begun, “The Quest for Beats!” – DXT formerly known as Grandmixer D.ST wrote in an article titled The Hop Hop DJ, that was commissioned for the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and appeared on their website in 1999

Simply put without the DJ we would not have this thing we call hip-hop. Without the DJ breaking records on radio and mixtapes you may not have ever heard of many records or rap artists or that matter. BW salutes the DJ.

DJ Jazzy Joyce, now a Mount Vernon resident does her thing on the one’s and two’s

The Legendary Grand Wizard Theodore, the inventor of the scratch at a Pre-Rapacon planning meeting

Mount Vernon’s own DJ Money Makin

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About AJ Woodson (2269 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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