Last Updated: September 4th
From the beginning, DJing was the most important aspect of hip-hop culture. The genre and culture were born from the mid-70s boom with underground DJs spinning funk and disco break loops at basement parties and uptown nightclubs and the DJ has remained an integral part of the culture ever since.
However, in recent years, DJs’ prominence has waned behind the increasing influence of both rappers and producers, with many DJs using the signifier to differentiate themselves as performers but not doing much mixing, scratching, or other feats of turntable ingenuity. Fortunately, with the advent of technology like Serato and the resurgence of vinyl as a collectors’ item, the latent artform of DJing is slowly returning to the forefront of culture as proud adherents to the art of mixology have found online platforms allowing them to showcase their best hour-long mixes outside of their live gigs and generate interest in their position as both tastemakers of new music and keepers of beloved classics.
Below are some of our favorite mixes, drawn from some of the hardest working DJs in the business.