Sway Calloway: EDM DJs vs. Hip-Hop DJs
The second annual Global Spin Awards took place in Manhattan to celebrate the craft of turntablism and international DJ culture. During a conference in September to announce the nominees, the show’s host Sway Calloway, conducted an exclusive interview giving his insights on the advancement and transformation of DJ culture and compared the abilities of Hip-Hop DJs to EDM DJs.
Sway points out that, “What happened was the DJ used to be the most important figure in Hip Hop.” By this, he explains that the DJ controlled the show, whether it be a large scale arena, local bar, or anything in between. The dancers, writers and even the MC would be placed lower in the performance hierarchy, but once rap business engulfed the culture, the attention (and profit) shifted to the front man.
Now for the real stuff… As credible as the rapper, MTV News reporter and executive producer, and radio personality is in this industry, his general opinion on EDM DJs may be slightly skewed. Sway explains while growing up, DJs had to spin all genres and adapt accordingly. He mentions that DJ Scratch is at a level that could spin any platform, and could take on an dance set with ease. Sway continues, “Dance music is the easiest music to mix in my opinion, the BPMs are all the same… But you can’t take an EDM DJ and bring him to a Hip Hop party and expect him to kill it.” Though, it may be true that many EDM DJs may not have the technical ability to use vinyl and turntables in the same fashion as a majority of Hip-Hop and scratch-skilled DJs, Sway has definitely overgeneralized that “the melodies are all the same, the chords are all the same.” Just taking elements like transitioning between song keys, rhythm and crowd awareness into consideration, its safe to say that Mr. Calloway’s may be speaking more about what’s on the Beatport Top Chart rather than the mixing abilities of EDM DJs.
Let’s just be grateful he didn’t include the term “button-pushers” in his interview.
Source: All Hip-Hop