Unhappy Emile

On his way out of town, DJ Emile tells Phoenix where to get off

Of course, this is the world according to Emile, and when he began DJing 13 years ago, it wasn't "ego" that drove him, or so he claims. "I was a good kid in sixth grade, and since I was the only one who could be trusted with money, I was allowed to go and buy records to play for the break dancers at recess. I started spinning old school and from there I started my own New Wave club spinning Smiths singles and 45s. So you see, I've always been an underground DJ. At one point, The Smiths were underground. 'How Soon Is Now?' was a deep underground track. Now it's in a [car] commercial."

Speaking out against endorsements, Emile quickly points to the duo known as Crystal Method -- "buzzclip" poster boys for the "electronica" genre -- who were also featured in a recent Nissan ad. Rumor has it that Emile got into a scuffle with one of the binary boys during their recent visit to Club Rio. Emile was more than happy to clarify what really happened with his usual degree of subtlety.

"Fuck Crystal Method! I'll tell you straight out -- Ken Jordan was jacked up on meth. I know somebody that gave it to him. He's sitting at the bar and I walk by and he asks, 'Are you a DJ?' I say, 'Yes I am.' Then he says, 'So you take other people's music and mix it on a tape and act like it's yours? Do you pay them royalties?' I said, 'Fuck no. They've already got my $6.99, they're not gettin' any more out of me.' He then says, 'You're a fraud,' and pushes me and spills my drink. I take a glass, ready to bust it over his face and I've got three bouncers holding me back! And I said, 'Did you pay Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition for that sample in "Keep Hope Alive"?! You wanna fight me, boy? There's millions of us [DJs] out there and we're gonna take you down!'"

"Jacked up" or not, what Jordan is fighting for is part of a recent movement to charge DJs for the use of prerecorded music. Emile claims that would require getting permission and paying as much as $1,500 for every song he uses. And with all of the quality/cost advancements that have made digital music production so affordable, protests have increased because the mixes in question are now on CDs. Under such circumstances, it isn't entirely inconceivable that digital technology will force mix music underground and into the back rooms of record stores, making them the new millennium's answer to bootleg discs.

The departing Emile, predictably, has his own views on the emerging technology as well. "Now, DJs are showing up with two CDs burned off of MP3s, and, since they didn't have to pay a cent, they're happy to get $50 from a club owner. And I don't understand these CD players that digitally count bpms [beats per minute]. They do all the work for you. It's like Minute Rice. You get a perfect mix every time. They've taken all of the skill and art out of turntabling."

For the man who seemingly hates everything, what is it exactly that Emile would like? "I would like to see kids register to vote," he lectures. "Maybe get in free to a party if they sign up at a booth on the site. The 18-to-25 voting bloc is nonexistent. You wanna rebel? Get out there and vote! And another thing that needs to change. DJs need to start dancing. DJs don't dance. I dance. I mean, how is a vegetarian going to cook you a steak?"

Contact Mr. P-body at his online address: mrpbodyscott@hotmail.com

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