What's Up With

... The Commission

By Dirty South Joe
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 13, 2007

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Photograph by Jeff Fusco

p>According to Chappell "Fatcat" Morrell, there are "12 DJs for every square mile" in this city. So in 2002 he began to assemble the Commission, a 30-member roster of the city's finest wax spinners, including radio stars like Touch Tone and Diamond Kuts.

Standing tall beside Fatcat (right), 26, is Kayode Balogun, 28, better known as DJ Ambush. The two have a combined 30 years of professional experience in the game, and they approach their craft as both businessmen and scholars.

"A lot of our DJs have a certain versatility--cats who wouldn't be uncomfortable in any situation. These are the people who fit the Commission criteria. Even the ones who are learning are learning the right way," Fatcat explains.

The "right way" consists of a number of simple checkpoints which the two are eager to teach their younger counterparts. "We have cats that are on all sides of the learning curve right now," Ambush elaborates. "Everyone knows you keep your ear to the streets, play what you wanna play, but more important, play what the crowd wants to hear. And see what the DJ next to you is doing too."

But it seems what the other DJs are doing right now doesn't really impress the two. They admit to being somewhat disgusted with the current state of Philly's nightlife.

"Philly is the birthplace of the technical DJ as the party DJ," Fatcat insists. "We have the greats that can combine the two and actually interact with the crowd. A lot of cats forget that and they simply play records with no finesse."

Ambush seconds the sentiment. "I don't care what anybody says. You can't argue the fact that Philly's the DJ capital of the world, period," he says. "The problem is when you've got club DJs who answer to radio DJs, or they're one and the same. You've got no avenues to expose new music except mixtapes, and who wants to do mixtapes when there's no money involved?"

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