The Venerable DJ Jazzy Jeff Explains Why Your Laptop Won't Make You a Good DJ

DJ Jazzy Jeff

There really isn't much introduction needed for DJ Jazzy Jeff, who since the 1980's has remained one of the biggest names in hip-hop due to his incredible showmanship and continued innovation in the art of DJing. Since his beginnings as a house party DJ, and through his role as one half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Jeff has become a producer and even a video game character, but he's never lost his love for DJing. If you've ever watched episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or seen his mastery on the turntables, often alongside the late DJ AM, you know that DJ Jazzy Jeff is a performer unparalleled in the world of hip hop. We spoke with him ahead of his show tomorrow night (Friday) at Mighty.

Since you're a DJ with absolute staying power, can you offer any wisdom to DJs coming up these days?

You know what? That's hard. Because it's so different now than it was that the advice I would give DJs 10 years ago almost doesn't apply. The industry has shifted so much and has changed so much. I used to tell DJs 10 years ago that you had to be original. Find what your niche is, and go for the niche, because … people followed certain DJs because they did something different. If you wanted to hear soul, follow this guy, if you wanted to hear someone that could scratch, you might follow this guy. There was a time when there was a DJ playing, you went to see him for what kind of music he played. But like now everyone is doing so much of the same stuff, I'm almost scared to tell these guys to be different. I've had someone come up to me and [say] 'I'm really good at this, but if I don't play all the Top 40 stuff, no one will hire me or book me.' It's hard to give that advice. If I tell you from my heart, I would say do what's in your heart, do what you do best, and try to be as different as you can.

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