There’s this funny little reality show on VH1 that used to be on BET called Master of the Mix. It’s a DJ competition in which DJs from around the country, popular in their small pond, come to play short sets and get read by Kid Capri. It’s kind of fun. Mostly because, as a pop culture addict, it’s fascinating to watch these “DJs” try to pull off a whole act. Some rely on a schtick—the party boy, the hype girl, the trickster, the scratch master, the mood setter. And some just love music so much that their wealth of knowledge, history in the game and crates of hot tunes make them great party starters. At least that could be said of the three DJs—Spinderella, Cash Money and Rich Medina—who are going to turn out “The Art of Turntables” on Friday night, and fortunately, a lot more could be said of them, too. Oh, yeah: Medina was on Season One of Master of the Mix (He didn’t win.).
If you’re looking for a place to dance in Philadelphia, for me, it’s all about the funk. There’s a Making Time-satisfied stretch of folks lookin’ to get down to techno, house, trance and dubstep (Goddamn that Skrillex). And those people should stay away from the Blockley as this tony trio steps to the decks. Because this party is about soul—the soul that radiates from classic hip-hop (like Spin’s ex-group, Salt ‘n Pepa), old-school funk and R&B and even—thanks mostly to Medina—Afrobeat and Latin flavors. This is the music that will make you lose control, put down your drink, run to the floor and, most importantly, sweat.
In an age where DJs often rely on technology, perhaps a little too much, employing iPods, laptops and, yes, iPads, these three are not those DJs. These are legendary, world-famous, Grammy Award-collecting DJs, steeped in the art of party-rocking: the transition, the scratch, the blend, the sample steal, and most importantly, song choice. This is one jam that’ll satisfy the club freaker and hip-hop head alike, all of whom cherish that moment when a song gets played that they’ve been waiting for. You know. That moment where your jaw drops, your arms fly up, and you look to your friend, who already knows what you’re thinking: They played that song. And then it’s on.
Fri., April 26. 9pm. $20-$25. With host Monie Love. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. theblockley.com
PW's Music Issue 2014