ICONS - BEDROOM DJ: With the Icons set I wanted to create pieces based around items immediately associable with HipHop. There were so many ways to go and ideas I had for the DJ-related piece, but I ultimately settled on basing this one on my first DJ setup consisting of a Radio Shack mixer, two off-brand turntables I picked up from my cousin for a c-note, a few discounted records, and a suspect pair of headphones.

A different cousin took me to my first HipHop show back in 1989 while I was on vacation in Wisconsin. The line-up was Digital Underground, Kid N Play, The Afros, Kwame, and Public Enemy. After seeing Terminator X do his thing, I immediately wanted to jump on the wheels of steel. What I found out is that DJing is a costly endeavor and it took me another 8 years to get the set-up depicted here.

While I don’t foresee myself presenting a threat to DJ Q-bert’s crown anytime soon, I still enjoy testing my skills on my recently updated bedroom system.

So I dedicate this piece to all the bedroom and basement DJs, West Coast, East Coast and worldwide.

The featured lyrics are from a hot old school album, Rock the House, by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Now despite what we HipHoppers think of Mr. Smith’s music today, the album is good and the lyrics are appropriate. And while we’re hittin' on this topic, Jazzy Jeff is one of the great HipHop DJs and the Fresh Prince was always quick to acknowledge that:

I need a deejay to back me up
So when I'm rockin’ on the mic he's on the crossfade cut

Scratchin’ and mixin’, mixin’ and scratchin’
Second after second it's the record he's catchin’

His hands are so fast that it's a medical riddle
With the turntable split and the mixer in the middle

Back and forth his hands fly
With the speed of a cheetah that'll puzzle your eye

Record after record, he has no mercy
Cuts left, cuts right, then he cuts vice versa

I'm not exaggerating, I said it and I meant it
I resent it if you say that his cuts are precedented

He's a lean, mean wreckin’ machine
He gets respected like a king when he's on the scene

So bust a move, cause you know he's def
He's my deejay (the magnificent) Jazzy Jeff