Best Hip-Hop DJ - 2012
Logan "Element" Howard
One of the most memorable moments from the most recent season of IFC sketch comedy satire Portlandia was a hilarious vignette in which it seemed literally everyone and his mother (including Carrie Brownstein's onscreen mother) was becoming a DJ. What's even funnier is the fact that it's totally true-to-life, as embryonic mixer monkeys and knob-twisters are springing up everywhere, including here the Valley. Unfortunately, a brand new MacBook and a pirated copy of Serato Scratch Live does not a DJ make. Actual talent is necessary, son, not to mention voluminous knowledge of a chosen genre, many years honing your craft, and learning the true fundamentals of turntablism, like maybe how to mix and scratch some actual records. In other words, you'll wanna follow the same path as Logan Howard. For more than a decade, the 30-something mixmaster known as Element has been considered one of the best hip-hop selectas in the PHX, if not the entire Southwest. A hardcore crate-digger at heart, Howard grew up devouring his family's diverse vinyl collection and started working a pair of record decks at house parties during high school. In the years since, he's become a walking encyclopedia of hip-hop culture and turntable wizardry, not to mention a longtime favorite the Valley's DJ scene. When's he not unleashing a sick scratch-fest or spinning old-school jams at joints around the Valley, Howard can be found hunting in local record stores for his latest finds or gigging in cities around the world (including Europe and Asia). Hell, he's even big in Japan.