I had to write this piece while it was still fresh on my mind, it made me contemplate certain things that I do and why I do them. Less than 8 hours ago I DJ’ed at the radio station and took one of the biggest risks of my life, it may have cost me, but I wouldn’t have done it any differently.
All eyes on me, I’m doing my thing, but the radio show takes a quick turn. “DJ 3000”, they say, “what’s the hottest indie artist in your playlist right now? Turn it up!” Simple request, easy enough you think? Not in the least. I had less than 30 seconds to play a song. Did they mean unsigned or independent? Big difference. Did they want artists that are getting paid shows, or ones that still have to pay for artist showcases? Bigger difference. So many choices, so little time.
I could have went with Migos, YFN Lucci, or Dae Dae, all of who definitely have hot records out right now. Big Bank Black, Kodak Black, Joe Green, a lot of names instantly came to me. But with the spot light on me, I went against the grain and got my head chopped off. I went with an unsigned, truly independent artist, a group by the name SSG, with a hot record “I Got It”. Why? Well why not? Any song you have heard in the club or radio, is already hot. Someone already gave them a chance. They don’t need another one. A new artist truly on their grind would appreciate a live radio show saying they have the hottest song in Atlanta. They would appreciate it more than a well known artist that would ignore the respect given and go collect 10 bands at their next show. I pride myself on breaking records and pushing new artists to the forefront, that’s a DJs job right? So I thought.
Out of the 4 people in the room, 3 of them bounced to it and even sang along to the chorus. They were like “ok, I feel it” (I just broke a record to them and to the listeners, for those of you that didn’t catch it!!!). Like always, 1 hater remained, “Why didn’t you play such and such, you could have played this or that. That’s why you are where you at, your playlist weak”, oh believe me, I heard it all. Group think kicked in and they all jumped on the band wagon. Really? I’m a record breaker; we go against the trends and bring something new to the table. None of you heard this song, and were bouncing to it. None of you know how hard these artists work, how much they spend on promo, how many DJs they go out and support on a weekly basis. And you have the nerve to talk down on them, talk down on me? For believing in them? It’s people like you that choose to keep the status quo and make new artists jump through hoops just for a chance to be heard. I took this opportunity to play something fresh and new, of course there are plenty of names I could have went with. But I choose to take a stand for indie artists, the ones that I have seen with my own eyes on the grind and really pushing their craft.
Long story short, DJs are given a very big platform, with a very small window of opportunity to play new records. If you find a DJ that is willing to take a risk on you, support him at all costs. He could stand to lose his job by playing your record. Would I do it differently? No, that’s what makes me, Me. I don’t mind taking heat for songs I believe in, especially if it’s a hot record. If I don’t play it, how will it ever get heard? It’s called breaking a record. I’m a DJ. Get used to it.
#ViewsFromDaBooth is a biweekly article from the south’s newest record breaker, DJ 3000. DJ 3000 is creator of mixtape series Off Da Brick, Finesse Game Strong, Private Party Kush, and DJ or Die Tryin’. He currently DJs at various night clubs in the Atlanta area, and you can catch him live every Thursday at 8 pm on Nu Radio. Follow him on Instagram @3000_da_DJ.