Standing high on his pedestal, the music magician weaves beats and verses in and out, around and within each other. The expansive crowd before him is grinding, shaking, twirling and swaying to the time of his jerks and scratches. Nevermind that the sounds are all computer generated and mesh with each other at the touch of a button and switch tunes with a shuffle command. The dancers don’t care. They come to hear remixed, mashed-up, collaborative versions of their favorite top 40s jams, move to the rhythm and forget their own names. A fog machine activates suddenly, releasing grey smoke into the air, allowing the crowd to feel lost and carefree for a moment until it clears. But even as their vision returns and the smell of muted chemicals hangs in the air, they groove on, feeling weightless. The DJ has done his job well.
At any given time or place, music has the ability to transfix people, to alter their state of mind and to let them live in the moment. This time, I’m talking about in any old club with a sound system and DJ platform. Dancing for hours is one of my favorite pastimes. I know the good places to go in downtown St. Petersburg, which place has the best music playing, which bar has the noisiest DJ, DJs that will let you get on stage with them…etc. Perhaps the most useful information I have though, is knowing which DJs are more receptive to requests. See, even if a DJ isn’t the best at shuffling through his music library, at the very least he could play the songs you want to hear, right? My favorite DJ in the area plays at a barely-lit bar with a very slippery floor (how many times I’ve fallen there, I can only estimate). The reason he’s my favorite DJ is because my friend and I have found the way to his little heart that beats to the rhythm of old school, underrated music. He is our DJ soulmate. But let me show you how it’s done.
For insight as to what annoys DJs, check out this handy site I came across the other day: http://stuffdjshate.com/
Now for the fun part.
My top five favorite songs to request:
- “Put You Hands Up” – Fat Man Scoop: I love The Save the Last Dance soundtrack in its entirety. If you haven’t seen that movie, check it out. Now.
- “Back That Ass Up” – Juvenile: My ultimate club request song with DJ Mon.
- “Shorty, Swing My Way” – Ghost Town DJs: The perfect song reflecting all the prowling that occurs in night clubs.
- “This is How We Do It” – Montell Jordan: Another go-to request song for me and DJ Mon.
- “She Ain’t Got That Boom” – Blaque: As seen on the napkin, Belong and I make this request and it usually gets played because most people wouldn’t expect to hear this jam at the club, if they even know it.
A few songs about those music magicians:
- “Music” – Madonna: “Hey, Mr. DJ, put a record on. I wanna dance with my baby.”
- “Go DJ” – Lil Wayne: “Say, ‘Go DJ,’ ‘cuz that’s my DJ.”
- “Favorite DJ” – Clinton Sparks: “I’m gonna play for you tonight like it’s your birthday. Tonight I’m gonna be your favorite DJ.”
- “DJ Play the Beat” – Estelle: “It’s the type of songs that the DJs play. Estelle in the party rocking rocking all day.”
- “Outta Control” – Baby Bash: “I don’t need no love, all I need is the DJ.”
- “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” – Usher: “Baby, tonight, the DJ got us falling in love again. So dance, dance like it’s the last, last night of your life, life.”
- “Play” – Jennifer Lopez: “Play. Come on, DJ, play that song. You that it turns me on. Just turn it up and turn me on.”
- “I am a DJ” – David Bowie (Benny Benassi Remix): “I am a DJ. I am what I play. Can’t turn around. No, can’t turn around.”
- “Something for the DJs” – Pit Bull: “Go DJ! Cut the scratch! Go DJ! Don’t stop!”
- “Pon de Replay” – Rihanna: “Come, Mr. DJ, song pon de replay.
Come, Mr. DJ, won’t you turn the music up?”