"I think Q goes on first anyway. Before him and his homies rob the bodega."
A friend's reference to Juice was the perfect way to begin an evening that involved a DJ competition. Last night, the Red Bull Thre3Style Regional Qualifier took place in Philadelphia, pitting the best DJs in the area against one another for the opportunity to compete in the National Finals this spring.
The setting was Philly's Voyeur, where the East Coast's best went at it for bragging rights and a trip to L.A. The battle was hosted by Philly native and Complex's own traveling man, Rich Medina. The event also featured a reputable panel of judges, including DJ A-Trak, Z-Trip and the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff.
DJ Petey C. began the competition, endearing himself to the Philly crowd with Zhane's "Hey Mr. DJ" before mixing into Too Short's "Blow the Whistle." Everyone was stunned when he blended Wale's "Bait" with Greenday's "Brain Stew." Next up was Trayze, who once again combined the Beverly Hills Cop theme with Pitbull. However, his shining moment was a mix of Foreigner's "Cold as Ice" and the Big Tymers' "Still Fly." Genius.
DJ Zeke had the third set, and showed a lot of skill by following the "Must be the money!" chant on the chorus of Nelly's "Ride With Me" up with 50's "I Get Money." His mix of "Gin & Juice" and "Oochie Wally," was a strange reminder of how well the latter has aged. When he switched from J-Kwon's "Tipsy" to "Seasons of Love" (yeah, the theme from Rent), the crowd responded with an impromptu singalong. Showmanship at its finest.
DJ Lazyboy began his set with Phil Collins' iconic "In the Air Tonight," and by the time he played Junior Mafia's "Get Money" remix, there was already someone breakin' in the corner. His musical assault of Travis Porter's "Make it Rain," Art of Noise's "Moments in Love" and "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz was unexpected and sensational. Plus, he literally made it rain on the crowd.
Layzyboy's most masterful moment came during Bobby Caldwell's "Open Your Eyes," when Caldwell sang "I'll take my chances before they pass, pass me by." He instantly launched into The Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By." All of the music heads in the building were thoroughly impressed.
Last up was the hometown guy, DJ PHSH. Each of the competitors had to play at least three genres of music, and PHSH did his best to avoid hip-hop during the early portion of his set. This meant playing The Jackson Five's "Wanna Be Where You Are" and The Clash's "Rock The Casbah" before finally sending the crowd into a frenzy with Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d City." The song is an instant adrenaline rush, and the perfect track to win a crowd over with.
After a brief period of deliberation, the judges announced the results. Petey C. came in third place, Trayze second, and in a decision that drew boos, hometown hero DJ PHSH was named the winner. If nothing else, it was his mix of "Mad Mad Ivy" by Gladdy's All-Stars into the track that sampled it, Jay-Z's "Already Home," that impressed the judges.
DJ Jazzy Jeff jumped on the turntables to settle the crowd once the battle was over, and DJ PHSH will journey west to vie for a trip to Toronto to participate in the World Finals later this year. It was another successful event by Red Bull that featured a lot of talent and a lot of good music. That's always the perfect way to start a weekend.
Written by Julian Kimble (@JRK316)
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