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Current residency: Wednesdays at Blonde
Plan of attack: "To go there with a handful of tracks that I love, feel the crowd out, and play what they're going for."
Best thing about being a DJ: "You get paid to do something you love."
Worst thing: "That, in this line of work, a lot of things can change really quick, as in working with nightclubs, and you don't necessarily get much notice."
During this interview, he was recovering: From a cold.
4. Real name: Jamel Williams
Unofficial title: The Hip-Hop Kid
Pimp name: Sheik Rockwell Slither
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Has been DJing: 11 years
Got started: DJing in college at Central Missouri State University
Preferred style(s): "I work mostly in hip-hop. I'm part of James Christos' collective, the Guerilla Movement. I also like electronic stuff. I spin a lot of traditional house and ghetto house. I'm good friends with DJ Shad — we always had a bond because of ghetto house."
Hip-hop background, advantage or disadvantage? "I consider it an advantage. I think, as a DJ, you need to know how to spin, period. I think if you classify yourself as a specific type of DJ, then you lower your stock as a DJ. Funkmaster Flex – he spins a lot of electronic stuff, whenever it pays. Van Helden, Fatboy Slim — a lot of those cats, they have some kind of hip-hop background or some kind of background other than electronic music."
Inspirations: "Armand Van Helden is definetly an influence. DJ Funk. I actually have a pretty decent appreciation for DJ Skribble. The big dude that I kind of pattern myself after or try to emulate is [Afrika] Bambaataa, because he crossed genres whenever he pleased."
Has played: the Hangout, Balanca's, the Peanut, Korruption, Kandi
Plan of attack: "I think most of these cats probably don't know me, so I think the element of surprise will be there. But let's put it like this: If people have expectations of what I'm gonna do, that helps me out."
Best thing about being a DJ: "It's a different form of communication from what other people may use in their lives. It's a way to express yourself and draw expression out of your crowd. Sometimes it's a calm, casual conversation; sometimes it's a street fight, trying to get someeone to understand what you do. But when it's going right, whether someone likes what you're playing or not, they understand what you're trying to create."
(And that answer: Was pretty much the best response to anything we've heard this year.)
5. Kipsquared, composed of: brothers Tunc and Timo Kip
Unofficial title: The Tenderfeet
Cyborg name: Kinetic Intelligent Person Skilled in Quick Utility, Accurate Repair and Efficient Destruction
Birthplace: Izmir, Turkey
Came to the United States: for college at KU
Have been DJing: Eight years
How they got started: "Is MTV a bad answer for that? It's way different in Europe. It has music, not all those reality shows." — Tunc Kip
Favorite MTV Europe Show: Dancefloor Chart on Saturdays
Pronunciation of "Tunc": Toonch
Producing their own music: One year
Preferred style(s): House, electro
Have played: Nowhere yet in Kansas City; house parties and at Abe & Jake's in Lawrence
Plan of attack: "We're hoping to come up with the winning playlist."
Are you intimidated, going up against so many veterans? "We've always done this for fun, and that's our main purpose. We're hoping everyone else has fun as well. For that reason, we're not intimidated. We know who we're running up against, too. The main purpose is having fun, making sure everyone else has fun."