THIS MIX IS REALLY DOPE!
I recently took part in one of the most enjoyable and exciting experiences of my young life: I ate homemade Gazpacho in Spain (which I later discovered was spiked with vodka. I consumed 8 bowls). In second place (but duh obviously first place by far) was the full formation, development, and execution of Mostly Robot.
Mostly Robot is my new super boy band filled with men. We are a man bad. The members are Jamie Lidell, Mr. Jimmy, Tim Exile, Jeremy Ellis, myself, & Pfadfinderei. We recently made our debut at Sonar Barcelona. I repeat, we recently made our debut at Sonar freaking Barcelona.
What went into this performance? The full set was created from scratch in 6 days. All the members of the group were in the same room for only 3 days. It helped that these 3 days were in a catered villa (adult gazpacho ftw) in Sitges, Spain. It also helped that we rehearsed in a squash court.
You are going to be seeing & hearing much more from Mostly Robot soon. Our set, if I do say so myself, was really something special. For now, homemade photos and videos are floating around the internet. Here’s a little snippet of my solo routine, but the real glory is in the full on collaborations. More to come, more to come!
Greetings from the EU. I’ve decided to do several rounds of a FREE STICKER GIVEAWAY for those who want a SHIFTEE sticker in their lives. Check out the 5 color choices below:
- Go to http://facebook.com/djshiftee. If you aren’t already a fan, click “Like.”
- Find the “Free Sticker Giveaway // UK Edition” post on my wall.
- Write a comment to this post stating which color sticker you would like.
First 20 people to do this will receive a Facebook message from hardworking Shiftee’s Palace interns (read: myself) coordinating details. Act quickly! Only the first 20 (UK) people will get a sticker!
This is pretty rad. The University of Wisconsin’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives is offering a full-tuition scholarship for hip hop practitioners. The First Wave Urban Arts Scholarship, as they write, “is the first collegiate scholarship in the U.S. devoted to the elements of hip hop. To be eligible, students must be graduating high school seniors or first year college students with solid grades and exceptional talents as poets, emcees, graffiti artists, break dancers or music producers.”
Applications are due December 3, 2010. More info + application on http://omai.wisc.edu/.
DJing is left off the list intentionally. Christie Z-Pabon, head of DMC USA and Tools of War, inquired about the omission. The response was certainly reasonable – “We don’t include DJing in the recruitment language, because we’re looking for students who create original music and beats. Most often, they’re also talented DJs; however, the converse is not always true.” No turntablists though?
I think this scholarship is awesome. There are tons of reasons why this is great for Hip Hop, but I’m intrigued by the implications it has for the relationships between young people and their parents. Does this scholarship deal a blow to the days of “Jimmy, quit messing around with those spray cans and do your math homework”? Or, “Carla, quit writing those damn poems and finish your biology project”? Maybe! Now, Jimmy and Carla can say “Mom/Dad, if I don’t make my graffiti poems, how will I get the First Wave scholarship!?!?”
A bunch of people have been asking me the same question: Shiftee, how often do you invent a new sandwich, the likes of which the world has never seen before? To these people, I reply, “Every day.” However, perhaps even more people have been asking me: Shiftee, will you defend your DMC World title this year? Here is the answer.
I will NOT be defending my DMC World title. The reasons are:
1. LACK OF TIME: I’ve been fortunate enough to have a busy and successful year. DJing is my job, and my number one goal is to keep it that way. My energy this past year has thus been dedicated to using the platform of my title to work towards a sustained career.
I teach weekly (both at Dubspot and, during the summer, NYU), work in various capacities for Native Instruments/Traktor (demos, events, artist trainings, videos), stay on top of new music, and create weekly content (whether it be mixes, videos, tracks, articles), all while keeping my skills sharp, working to push the boundaries of skill-based DJing, and maintaining an international tour schedule. Occasionally I’ll even socialize. All in all, very little time to practice. A worthy DMC set, one that is not only a contender to win but also progresses beyond what I’ve already done, is not something I can have ready in a week or even a month.
2. NEW MOTIVATIONS: I’m comfortable with what I’ve accomplished in battling to date. I competed at a world level for 3 years in a row, winning 2 world titles (2007 DMC World Supremacy + 2009 DMC World) and a runner-up (2008 IDA World). The amount of work it took for me to maintain that kind of level was extremely demanding and consuming. I was able to do it because of a deep drive to conquer the world stage, push myself to new levels, and represent for the type of DJing I believe in. The ultimate goal was the main DMC World title. I wanted it. I wanted it for 10 years. Now that I have it, and considering the road I took to get it, I currently feel I have nothing left to prove in this realm to myself.
However, I have not lost my drive, in fact it is stronger than ever. All that’s happened is that my focus has shifted (“shiftee-d”? wamp wamp wamp) to new challenges. How can I make this my career? How can I bring my skill set and personality to new audiences beyond battle fans? How can I incorporate turntablism in a more accessible setting (like a club, or classroom, or youtube, or ipod) and keep it fun? How can I apply the battle mentality to new technology while still maintaining my roots? How can I make a track that I myself would play or use? How can I make a song that connects with people? These are the questions that have me jumping out of bed in the morning (well, really, early afternoon). Why? I don’t have the answers to them yet.
I’m not saying I’m done with battling forever. Maybe I’ll catch the bug in a couple years, or my schedule will open up, or I’ll need another victory to keep my name relevant. All I know is that (for my Grind Time heads, shout out to Thesaurus) this year I’m not doing DMC, and I’m not disappointed. I’m excited.
Thanks to my supporters and haters.
My website has a neat feature on its backend. No, I’m not talking about my website’s butt, you sicko. I’m talking about a feature it has where you can see every google search that leads to your site. So, if someone types in “Dubspot Shiftee” into google, and then clicks my site, the backend will record it.
Here are the top 5 searches from August (in order of humor/uniqueness/how did that happen-ness). Remember, people searched for these terms, and then clicked my site. If you are one of those people, thank you, seriously.
August Top 5 – Google Searches Leading to Shiftee
- dj shiftee makes a sandwich
- nancy kerrigan
- what watch does dj shiftee wear
- club striper em berlim (that’s right, berlin spelled with an m)
I know I said I’d stop using the 3rd person because of Lebron James, but really I must continue using the 3rd person because of Lebron James. I’m a huge fan, no matter which person he uses.
I recently did an interview with The Creators Project (Intel + Vice partnership). Subjects of discussion included new technology, bikini models, my homie DJ Wordy, and Mount Rushmore. Peep the full Q & A HERE.
One item of note that did not make it to press was a rather funny miscommunication. During the interview, I mentioned the DJ skill of “beat juggling.” However, the conversation was recorded, and somehow it sounded like I was saying “E-Tripping” on the tape rather than “beat juggling.” As in, what does it take to win the DMC World Championship? Well, “it takes skills in different areas . . . scratching [and] another area called E-Tripping.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! E-Tripping!? Did I just say to win DMC you have to be good at E-Tripping!?!? Clearly a misunderstanding. But, it got me thinking. What if the technique known as “beat juggling” really was called “E-Tripping”? Then we’d have the following perfectly normal sentences:
- “Kids, today in class we are going to learn the art of E-Tripping.”
- “Yooooo, my man’s E-Tripping is nice!”
- “In order to become a great E-Tripper, the key is lots of practice in E-Tripping.”
- “Yeah, she can scratch, but can she E-Trip?”
- “I was E-Tripping too loudly, so my mom told me to quiet down.”
- “That was the funkiest E-Tripping I’ve ever heard!”
- “DJ Total Eclipse is a master of E-Tripping.”
- “I’m going to stay into tonight and work on my Salt ‘N’ Pepa E-Trip.”
- (At the super market): “See that woman in aisle 3 juggling beets. She’s E-Tripping.” (This last example is actually a proper usage of the word E-Tripping)
- “He didn’t win the battle because he didn’t do enough E-Tripping.”
- “My favorite part of DJing is E-Tripping.”
Which brings me to my final point. Kids, don’t do drugs, stay in milk, drink your vegetables, and eat your school.