Best Non-Turntablist Turntablist (2013)

DJ Ruthless Ramsey

Ramsey Higgins is quite prolific when it comes to the DJ game. He's down with Traktor, skilled with Serato, and knows his way around both a Numark and a pair of Technics 1200s. So skilled is the 36-year-old, who performs as Ruthless Ramsey, that he's also an instructor with Scottsdale Community College's illustrious DJ program. And this prof has a lesson he'd like to lay down: "I'm a turntablist," Higgins says. "We can spin anything."

Just some of the usual self-aggrandizing you'd associate with DJs, right? Yeah, we thought that, too, until we saw him on YouTube backing up such swag with a storm of scratching — on a double cassette deck. Higgins is renowned across the Internet for his singular aptitude of turning boomboxes into scratch factories (accomplished by ripping the doors off and futzing with the rollers, flanges, and pause button) to mimic chops, flares, and chirps of pro turntablism, only without the turntable. It's his claim to fame that he's been perfecting for more than 25 years and has nabbed him worldwide notoriety, half a million YouTube views, the nickname "Captain of the Cassette," and a snazzy skill set to teach both SCC students and a few more famous apprentices, namely, superstars like Jazzy Jeff and Qbert, both of whom have hit up Higgins for tips. The scribes at DJ Times, however, playfully tweeted about the video, "DJ Ruthless Ramsey thinks he's hot cause he can scratch on cassette tape. Problem is, REAL DJs only use reel-to-reel!" Don't put it past him, because he might perfect that skill next.


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