So I went and put together some stories and called it a book. Some of my friends say it is hilarious. Well, they are my friends but I'm not sure what you might say. Check it out. My Adventures on the Bus
I've have been pro House Music since I first moved back to Chicago. How could I not be pro House when I was a Disco head when it was OK to like Disco. This is the crazy thing: The categorization of all things Dance. It's Dance Music, for goodness sakes! If you want to dance when you hear it then it is Dance music. I bring this up because I was on Facebook and one of my associates shared a video of a dancing monkey which made the statement,"We all know somebody who dances like this." The problem I had with it was the additional statement by the guy that shared the video which was "EDM IS LIKE PUNISHMENT."
I guess my question is why is there such hatred for EDM from the "Traditional" House Community? Is it because they don't think it's legitimate music? I think it's a combination of things but mostly I think that the traditional House guys are mad that EDM makes all this money and gets all this attention. Do they even know what EDM is? Sometimes i think they just throw a blanket statement over anything that is not traditional Dance and call it EDM. Did you know that, by definition, Acid House is EDM? Half the stuff you guys are spinning today is, by definition, is EDM. (EDM is Electronic Dance Music) Here is my statement to the producers on the issue: IF YOU ARE NOT PLAYING INSTRUMENTS IN A BAND AND RECORDING IT IN A STUDIO THEN YOU ARE EDM, TOO!
Cut out all that hate and get on with the music.
P.S. The funny thing is some of the EDM producers are starting to produce and play "Deep House" at their EDM shows with the statement that they "love House Music."
P.P.S. There was a similar hatred shown for Disco from the Rock community saying that Disco wasn't real music which resulted in the "Disco Demolition Day" at Comiskey Park in 1979. Some say that the event led to the birth of House Music because Disco people had to go underground.
The last time I posted an update it was about a young kid that was using my name. I got a couple of rabid responses from what I thought was his relatives but I found out from his actual father that those guys were just well wishers. The kid's dad is a good dude and he and I communicated without incident so I was satisfied that there was no malicious intent although to two people that responded first need to be on medication (they were very hostile!). I hope the kid continues to pursue DJing as a career, especially since his dad supports him through the process.
In the meantime, I have been supporting three releases and two events behind the scenes for the G.E.T.O. DJ'z during what I believe to be the off season. I have several tracks on two of those releases. Partying in a place like Chicago can be very challenging once the weather stops cooperating. There seems to be a mad scramble for places to spin throughout the Winter that starts as soon as the temperature drops below 40 degrees (Fahrenheit. You know Americans are too stubborn to stop using that scale and convert to Celsius.) and to hold up until the weather breaks in the Spring. The crazy thing is that music drops year round and you would think that you would hear a lot of new stuff over the Winter. The problem is the Chicago scene. New music seemingly has to be spoon fed to the South Side House Community. You have to introduce new stuff each party until your crowd either starts asking to hear the new songs or they just get used to hearing them. The only other way to introduce new songs is to make mix CDs and sell them/give them away at your sets. You may get a very few forward thinking DJs that pick up the new songs and play them but not here in Chicago. It's crazy because it's almost like an out-of-town DJ has to bring the new music to Chicago THAT WAS PRODUCED HERE IN CHICAGO!
I think that part of the problem is the current ruling body of DJs spinning in the city only get their music from a small reservoir or sources. That is a shame because there is a world of new, good music out there and, because these few "elite" only deal with certain sites or producers directly, the "new" music in Chicago is actually several years old by the time it hits here. Normally I wouldn't worry too much about such a thing but, considering the fact that Dawn Penn made "No No No" in the 70's and it didn't hit for her until the 90's, I just want to make sure I'm still around once people start appreciating my music.
I recently had a couple of my DJ buddies bring me a video they made in Seattle, WA. The young guys that were spinning at the moment played one of my songs and they were commenting on it. The song in question was something I made nearly 20 years ago but they were playing it as if it was something new. I hadn't released that particular song digitally so they had to have purchased the record and transferred it to a digital file on their own. I was happy that I was getting played but I wondered if these kids knew that i had a ton of new music as well. I hope I'm not on that 20 years cycle like Ms. Penn because I'd like to enjoy seeing other people groove off my stuff and not be some 90 year old guy in the corner of the club with people tipping me because they think I'm on my break from being the restroom attendant.
I like to give all sides of conflicts so that people can make their own judgements based on all the facts. I received this message from who I assume is this kid's father or relative. If he is not then he is playing Devil's Advocate. The following is a direct copy of his post:
"Really? Where's the trademark that says you own ALL rights to the FAKE Name? IF you were any professional of any kind, you would not even DARE think of even saying you were going to fight anyone, let alone a 12 year old boy, who lives clear across the USA. Real Classy buddy... If you did any research (which I'm sure you didn't) you would Know that the name "Flint" is the real middle name of the young man you wanna "fight", so this IS in fact his REAL Name he is using, UNLIKE yourself. People like YOU give Hard working, High end DJ's of any kind, (Mobile,Club,Cruise line, or ballroom) a bad reputation for your low life actions, childish remarks, lack of professionalism! Go Back in the hole you crawled out of, because you WILL NOT Win this battle!!!"
Let me clarify something here. Our community is a tight knit one and I would have felt the same way if someone had said they are RP BU, Traxman, Waxmaster or DJ Funk which are all "made up names" that these people have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making their own. If I saw a young man saying he was any of those guys the first thing out of MY mouth would have been "No, you are not." I do not discourage this young man from joining our ranks. In fact, I applaud his efforts because Lord knows we have too many so called DJ's that are not true to the craft like Paris Hilton, to name one of many, and if he were near me I would lend him all of my support in the fashion of a mentor . I had to learn it on my own. And as for the name? It was given to me and is a memento of my service in the Army so it is dear to me. I don't mean any harm but I have been called this for the last 27 years so I have grown attached to it. The reason I may have come off as hostile is because there is a guy in India calling himself DJ Flint and he is trying to record under that name and I felt it as another attack on my livelihood.
This all started about 14 years back when I heard of someone saying that he was DJ Flint. It wasn't a big thing to me until I heard that he was showing people my 1996 release on Dance Mania Records sand saying that he was the one that put that out. Oh, really? Now it's a problem. I can't stop someone from saying they are "DJ anything" but the guy was saying he was me. Ever since then I have had my eye out for such shenanigans. This new kid had just got caught in a crossfire not intended to discourage his ambition. I hope he does well but I don't want the backlash of when he starts running into people who either know me or know of me to come his way. I am known around the world, although I may not be a household name. Yet.
So I was on Facebook, checking out my crew from the GETO DJ'z, Inc., and I see one of my guys posting about how his logo is on its way. One of the other guys starts poking fun at him and then a third. Suddenly it becomes a pissing contest with everyone posting logos. I decide to join in but I'm lazy so I Google my name to get some of my old logos. Suddenly, I see DJFlint.com pop up. What is this? I had never seen this before so I check it out. "Oh," I say to myself, "it's just a little boy who is trying to be a DJ." At first I don't have a problem with it until I see his blog page address is "http://flintandsteal.blogspot.com." Really, young sir? You are going to "Flint and Steal?" Now I have an issue with this. I'll fill you guys in on how this turns out.
The age old question of "Play what the people want VS Play new shit" has reared it's ugly head once again. Of course everyone was going to jump on the "play what the people want" bandwagon because they believe in the old adage "the customer is always right.' I submit to you that every successful company out there today exists because they went against the grain. Nobody was making fast burgers when McDonalds started doing it. Nobody was making rubber toed running shoes when NIKE started doing it Nobody was making custom coffees when Starbucks started doing it. Nobody was making custom flavors when Ben and Jerry's started doing it. You get the picture. Sure there are successful companies that stay with the status quo but they will always be just successful enough to get by. Many of those companies shut down every year while others pop up to replace the ones that shut down the previous year.
There are two types of patrons: The ones that frequent clubs that play what they want to hear and the ones that go to hear what the DJ is going to do that night. The latter being the ones that are true fans of that DJ. The former don't care who the DJ is just as long as they hear what they want. I'd rather be the DJ they come to see because I'M playing.
Also, at some point in the history of your "favorite song" that song was new and never heard before. Someone had to have the balls to play it the first time so that it could become your "favorite song.'
I recently ran into a new artist trying to hawk her wares. I wasn't interested myself but one of my peers took an interest and volunteered the resources of those present so I went along with it. In taking up that cause he provided some information that would make her ascension to the top of the charts proper if not easy. The problem was that the information she was receiving was contrary to the information she had either received or gathered from bad sources and she was hesitant. That seems to be the problem with all starters in this business. Sometimes we get the "if you know so much why aren't YOU rich?" question from people. The answer to that is simple: We know the how. We choose to do it without the backing of the industry so it will take longer to reach our goals. When you see those artists who get signed to those big deals they are financial slaves to a system. When an artist gets an "advance" the system tells you up front what it is but you don't recognize the language. An "advance" is exactly what it sounds like, a loan. "I am advancing you money I think you will make my label." It may take you 4 years to make that back so when you ask for a "royalty" be prepared to discover exactly how much money you owe to the label. Get your minds right about this business and quit signing your lives away for fame and glory. Learn the craft and you will learn the rules.