2008 Music Award Nominees: Best Hip-Hop DJ
(Thanks to all of the artists for the music!)
Every Thursday night at new Grove venue the Gramophone, DJ Crucial and DJ Needles unleash Sound Clash, a free, tag-team celebration of hip-hop, soul and R&B. This plum gig is the latest feather in the cap for the F5 Records president, whose musical reputation both in and out of town continues to grow by leaps and bounds – thanks in no small part to live DJ gigs with Nato Caliph and a well-received collaboration with Hi-Fidel (In the Company of Wolves). -- Annie Zaleski
Pin-Up Bowl, 11 p.m.
Gabe Moskoff (a.k.a. DJ Trackstar) hasn’t let the cessation of his long-running Friday night Halo Bar spin slow him down. His weekly local hip-hop e-newsletter continues to be a must-read collection of news, free mixes and shows listings, while his artfully curated Boogie Bang mixtapes continue to arrive fast and furious (he’s up to volume thirteen). Even better, people outside of the Lou are starting to take note: Earlier this spring Trackstar hosted a mix by underground luminary NYOil. -- Annie Zaleski
Pin-Up Bowl, 11 p.m.
This year, you’ve probably heard this Soul Tyde vet spinning at the Gramophone or backing hometown hero Black Spade on the turntables. His most stellar work, however, was a mash-up: American Gangstarr combined the lyrics of Jay-Z’s American Gangster album with the beats of Gang Starr’s DJ Premier. If you thought Lil’ Wayne sounded hot on the original hook to “Hello Brooklyn,” check it as Needles envisions it, with a sick horn break that combines the best of the Jay’s high-powered production with the soulful sound of NYC’s jazz rap extraordinaires. – Keegan Hamilton
Pin-Up Bowl, 7 p.m.
Dan Mahfood is best known as the DJ for the Earthworms, mixing old-school soul samples and propulsive beats for the hip-hop collective. His scratching technique is classy and masterful, and his scratches always serve the song and amplify the groove. When he’s not holding down the one’s and two’s for the Earthworms, DJ Mahf can be found spinning weekly sets at places like the Atomic Cowboy and the Upstairs Lounge, setting the mood with ‘80s pop and arena rock alongside modern hip-hop and R&B. -- Christian Schaeffer
Blueberry Hill’s Elvis Room, 10:40 p.m.
Whether it’s in the friendly confines of the Delmar Lounge, the frenzied dance floor of the club, or on the airwaves of 104.1 FM, “The Don of St. Louis” as Chan bills himself, is always in control when he steps behind the wheels of steel. Perhaps it’s the mafia monikers that help Chan command the power he wields over crowds, but whether he’s spinning old school, underground, or radio rap, the people respect the Lou veteran and get their freak on. -- Keegan Hamilton
One look at K-Nine’s hands and it’s obvious he was born to DJ. His fingers are impossibly long and thin and bend back as if he were double-jointed. Whether he’s performing solo or backing up his boy Nite Owl on the cutz, it’s with these hands that effortlessly scratches out breaks, almost tickling the vinyl. If you don’t think the turntables are an instrument that requires as much hand-dexterity as a guitar or piano, watch K-Nine, the man with the magic hands, go to work. -- Keegan Hamilton