... DJ Ultraviolet
It's no secret the hip-hop game is predominantly male. While plenty of lady MCs have broken down gender barriers, the role of women DJs, producers and promoters has been overlooked and marginalized. Some women have thrived by simply fitting in; others, like 27-year-old Saury "DJ Ultraviolet" Benitez, have gone the opposite route.
The Harlem-born Benitez started DJing five years ago, and branded her vision of hip-hop remarkably well in such a short period. "When I first started out, I researched who else was out there. Every interview I read about female MCs and DJs was saying the same thing: 'Dudes put us down' and all that stuff," Benitez explains.
"Not to say that stuff doesn't happen--I have a lot of male friends and I know how they act and how they are--but I decided to do what comes natural for me and not worry about anybody else." So Benitez started the Ladies Love Hip-Hop party here in Philly four years ago. The night picked up steam when pioneer Native Tongue MC and kindred spirit Monie Love signed on as host a couple years later. Benitez says the pair may take the party, currently housed at Fluid, on the road soon.
Also in focus is her recent Living Legends party featuring DJ god Ca$h Money, and Benitez promises plenty more pioneering hip-hop talents to come.
"I started it wanting to bring more known DJs to Philly. Now that DJs like Pete Rock and Premier come here a lot, I'm trying to bring out some of the ones that don't pass through too often. I brought out DJ Scratch from EPMD in February, and he really liked it. He's coming back in September."