Local DJs Battle for Supremacy at the Red Bull Thre3style on Saturday

When it all comes down to it, DJs wield a certain degree of power -- and we ain't just referring to all the money, fame, and influence that comes with the job. Instead, we're referencing their talents at controlling the energy and driving the dance floor at whatever gig they happen to be working, be it at a nightclub, hip-hop joint, or some enormous festival. And no less a source than the illustrious Kool Herc can back us up on that.

According to the legendary hip-hop pioneer and turntablist icon in the 1998 tome, The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries, any deejay worth his or her weight in vinyl has the ability to set the tone and amp up an audience. "The power of the DJ? It's to motivate the crowd, man," Herc states. "It's to have the insight to motivate the crowd, to have the crowd at your fingertips, to control the crowd. That's the best fuckin' power, man."

And its something that the selectors, turntablists, and mixmasters that will duke it out at the Red Bull Thre3style Regional Qualifier on Saturday, February 14, at the Monarch Theatre had better have down pat if they hope to triumph during the high-profile DJ battle.

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