If events like Ladies Of Sound show us anything, it’s that the future of DJing is female. My dear friend DJ Crykit came all the way from Vegas to attend said event at The Beat Junkies Institute of Sound in Los Angeles, and with her brought one of the most important questions of the night. She asked our panel how, as female DJs do we deal with playing music that violently degrades women? I am still thinking about the ramifications of this idea and feel compelled to bring it up to our community at large.
If more and more women are taking on the role of the DJ, that means that we are taking more control over our collective musical culture. With that power comes responsibility; we need to make conscious decisions about the frequencies and messages with which we energetically cosign. Please understand, in no way am I telling you not to play Kanye West & Lil Pumps “I love it” or Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba”, I am simply asking that you make an intentional choice to do so. Be honest with yourself about this. I will be the first to admit that I have played some music that makes my soul cringe but the party go off, mostly because I wasn’t ready for the gig. Lack of preparation and creativity lead me to settle for the lowest common denominator. If I had worked harder and given myself more time I would have crafted a heartfelt set that felt like me, unified the party, created positive energy, and raised the vibration of the room.
Our laziness in turn lets artists be lazy. When we play songs that celebrate “getting your dick sucked” and all your “hooooooooooooooooooooooes callin’,” we are saying that we are down with that. Is this art? Who am I to judge that? No one! But I know if you are an artist you will be able to find other ways to express yourself that don’t disenfranchise HALF THE POPULATION.
And if singing about your love of blow jobs really is your soul’s message to the world, that’s cool, own that shit. Personally, I just want to hold artists that I promote in my sets, and myself, to a different standard.
If we all made the conscious decision not to look the other way at all this casual women-bashing I think we would not be playing a lot of these songs. That would send a strong message to our communities. That message would eventually reach artists.
DJs, we do what we do because in our hearts, we know that music is important. Let’s remember that we are in control. Let’s check ourselves and make sure that we are not asleep at the wheels of steel. We are behind those turntables because we are professional curators of culture. Just like a good bouncer doesn’t let people into the party whom they feel might disrespect the vibe, let us not let music into the party that disrespects us.
Let’s talk about it….