This is why your DJ hates you

Categories: DJ Q&A
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DJ Rap and her angry slipmats
Imagine showing up to work every day and each of your coworkers are drunk and shouting demands in your face. Hopefully this is not commonplace for you, but it happens nearly every night to those who claim DJing as a profession. I know what you're thinking -- something like, "Oh, WAAAAHH! It's so hard looking cool while playing your favorite music!" But the truth is that DJing is much harder than it looks. It takes concentration, a good ear for similar tempos, technical proficiency under pressure, and, increasingly, patience.

We talked to a bunch of DJs with recognizable aliases in Minneapolis and beyond who shared with us their biggest gripe about you, the patron. Hey, sometimes it just takes a little tough love.
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If this is true, some of you better start prayin'

The DJs' names have been omitted because, well, they'd like you to keep attending their gigs.

"I'll get a request, play it, and then they ask for it again. Boo, bad party people."

"The dollar tip move. The 'I know the owner and we've spent money here so you play what I want now' move. The 'Hey, I'm going to use your $2,000 equipment as a coaster' move. The 'Can you play 'It's My Birthday' by Fifty Cents because its my friend's birthday' move. To name a few. "

"'Do you have any Michael Jackson? No? FUCK YOU YOU'RE THE SHITTIEST DJ EVER!'"

"I was playing in Columbus OH and a girl said, 'Slow the record down like Paul Oakenfold.' I told her I don't really do that, then she said "Well, if you're a good DJ you wouldn't be playing here, you would be in New York or something." I had to inform her that I was in New York the night before and that party sucked, whereas the party in Columbus at Spice was awesome outdoor patio goodness. Being douchey + throwing your own city under the bus = not a good look."

"People say, 'You got anything with words, this stuff all sounds the same!'."

"One of the owners at an establishment where I DJ'ed three nights a week used to walk up to the DJ booth with some new pretty young thing almost daily and ask 'Hey, will you play [insert Top 40 bullshit] for her, she really wants to hear it' to which I'd reply with a quick and easy 'NO' without making eye contact with either of them. This particular owner got a kick out of it and would reply with, 'How could you deny such a pretty lady?' He actually had a sense of humor about it... for a while."
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So, in a nutshell, see above.

"At one of my very first DJ gigs at the Saloon, a frantic club owner came running into the DJ booth demanding that I throw in some KD Lang... apparently the KD Lang concert at the Orpheum Theater just ended and the club was beginning to fill up with lesbians with short-cropped haircuts and blazers. I panicked, frantically digging through my records and completely train wrecked through an hour of music -- praying the owner wouldn't come back and have me thrown off the decks... Thankfully, he didn't."

"This is hands down the most recurring request that I get: 'Can you play anything different? Like Prince or Michael Jackson?' Is there some universal request book that floats around that only contains these two artists? What are you really asking me for? To play something that you know. If you're not familiar with what I'm playing now then you're not going to be."
 
"Requests for songs that obviously do not fit in what is being heard. The manager at my latest regular gig of 3+ years at Clubhouse Jager actually gave me the green light to tell people they're in the wrong bar if they request music that I wouldn't play and to point them in the direction of whatever appropriate venue I see fits their request."

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We can take this outside
 

"Stop asking me to play Lady Gaga!!"

"Some dickwad offered me $20 to play Guns N' Roses at a [techno weekly]."

"Don't try to have a conversation with me while my headphones are on, while I'm in the middle of a mix, or while I'm digging for my next track. On second thought, don't talk to me at all."

"She asked me to play Madonna. I told her that would be ...a $20 request. She said OK, and then came back with the money. I gave her the record."


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This is a major no-no, unless you want to polka all night


DJ request the goods




See also: This is why your music store clerk hates you



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