Typically, every “DJ” knows how to push buttons and play music. But there are a select few who have a particular set of skills. Skills that they have acquired over a long period of time. Skills that make them a nightmare to phonograph needles everywhere. That’s because scratching is a lost art. Real scratching, not the stuff you were attempting to do back in the day on your dad’s old Isley Brothers record that almost got you put in time out.
In 2015, the term, DJ, elicits thoughts of someone who plays records on the radio or at a party, or someone who puts out mixtapes where they typically over-interject themselves into the product. In the early days of hip-hop, you had to be able to prove your skills on the crossfader before you could be stamped as official. In the early ’80s, pioneering turntable technicians like DJ Kool Herc, DJ Jazzy Jay, and Jam Master Jay were vinyl-manipulating gods, helping usher in a culture and a genre of music with a flicka da wrist. Others would follow. Films like Beat Street in 1984 would later highlight the position of the cut creator on the silver screen.
After Just Blaze hit The Sprite Corner over the summer to show young teens how to create a beat, it got us thinking to which DJs can actually scratch. With technology advances everyone seems to be a “DJ” these days. We brought it back to the roots and came up with a list of DJs that started by actually scratching on their turntables.
Here is a list of 16 disk jockeys who can really get busy on the wheels of steel…