... DJ Amir
The buzz around DJ Amir usually includes one of the following phrases: "the chosen one" or "the LeBron James of the wax-spinner scene." In a city oozing DJ talent, this talk isn't taken lightly. Especially considering Amir is only 19.
Known for his lightning-fast cuts and scratches, Amir is a shining example of what's become a Philly DJ trademark: using technical turntable mastery to rock a party.
"I started DJing in 2001," he reflects. "I was in eighth grade when my mom bought me turntables for Kwaanza."
The next summer Amir became a fixture at Armand's Records, hanging out longer than some full-time employees. There he met DJ Fatcat, who took the youngster under his wing.
"From [Fatcat] I met DJ Touchtone. Touchtone opened his arms up to me, and every day after school I'd go to 103.9. He'd have me practicing for two or three hours."
All that practice led to a weekend gig DJing at Sneaker Villa in the Gallery Mall, where Amir worked through high school.
Like many young folks his age, Amir spent way too much time on the streets, narrowly avoiding more than a few collisions with disaster. But he's eager to leave that trouble behind. "This past year a lot of things changed in my life for both good and bad, and it made me see I'm blessed in everything I've got," he says.
"I do have talent, so why not use it? It's hard, 'cause you can get distracted easily. A lot of people are dying. Your homie gets killed and you feel a certain way, but you don't wanna mess your life up. You gotta be smart."