DJ Dossier

LES 735 on Conquering the Competition at the DMC Phoenix DJ Battle

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Do you have a mantra when it comes to DJing? My mantra would be to read the crowd. Know when to scratch, know when to switch it up, and know when to talk on the mic. Also practice, practice, practice.

Favorite track of the moment? Right now, right now? Would be "Poppy Veins" by Central Products. It's a record I produced for them. Sounds self-centered but It's what [I've] been playing over and over again in my iPod. Of course, I listen to other shit but that's what I've been bumping the most and I'm really happy how it came out. I guess I get excited to know that I was involved in the creation of that record.

How much vinyl do you own? I have a collection of a couple thousand. It's mixed with random records that I use for sampling to make beats with and hip-hop records.

What's the crown jewel of the collection? I've got some records signed by DJs that I look up to like Qbert, D-Style, Mixmaster Mike, Yogafrog, and I have some singed by Dilated Peoples and Guru from Gang Starr, which is one of my favorite hip-hop crews.

What are your favorite hip-hop albums of all time? Gang Starr, Moment of Truth; Biggie, Ready to Die, Dr. Dre, The Chronic.

What's your opinion of the Phoenix hip-hop scene? I think we have an ever-growing scene here in Arizona. I think we need to develop a strong connection with fans of the music and have them come out and support our local acts. Once that connection is made then that's when we will have a scene that cities, states, and countries would talk about.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.