I was going to post these mixes last week but I got caught up with work and other unrelated issues. So please allow me the time and space to post the last few mixes I wanted to showcase last week but didn’t especially because we are on the final stages of re-launching 9Mixtapes.
I would like to give a personal narrative about my relationship with Chris (Fully Focus). A few years ago I wrote/blogged about meeting him in ATL and how that experience was unpleasant for me.
Basically I think he kicked me out of the DJ booth as I was kicking it with DJ Stylez (but I understand now he didnt know who I was and I can understand as a DJ you might need some space while working lol). Knowing me (am a hot head), I didn’t let it go so I blogged about it. I didnt know him and he didnt know me so we never talked for months/years and we didn’t need to. However one thing no one cant take away from my sentiments that I made on that blog, was that TAKE OVER DJs was going to take over the Kenyan-US Market.
Even as much as I was salty about that experience I still knew that these cats were onto something big. Fast forward to today, it’s happened already – and although many may not want to accept the facts of the matter, the fact is many Kenyan DJs in the US are still trying to figure out how it happened and at what point did Take Over – TAKE OVER. Fast forward to today – Chris and I talk and exchange text messages about doing different things here and there. For most part I have come to respect the mans attitude towards entertainment, quality of work and more importantly MUSIC. There are a few things you cant take away from Focus, love him or hate him but the man is just talented musician (DJ/Producer). Chris has managed to unearth music that I practically thought was dead and make it sound cool layered on other current pop hits.
TOD as a movement is something I have no opinion about. I tend to think the lifespan of a DJ is about 5 to 6 years tops unless you have another side hustle. Otherwise I tend to think many local/Kenyan/Tanzanian DJs are done within 5 years unless they establish themselves as brands. Some people argue this out with me which is okay, to me if DJying is a hobby then its fine – but if DJying is your career and in 10 years you still are doing the same thing you did 10 years ago then its possibly time to switch careers. I also think the US-Kenyan DJ market is over saturated with very many people who use sound equipment and call themselves DJs. Over the last 5 years there have been more DJ’s in the US than the total number of Kenyan DJs in the Diaspora between 1999 to 2005. Over the last few years DJying has actually emerged to be a lucrative career for many people. Over the last few years promoters have become DJs and DJs have become promoters making the entire US/Kenyan Entertainment fuzzy and cloudy.
I personally think some DJs forget that their audiences grow older too and thats how the Kenyan US DJs lost market share to TOD because they kept doing the same type of parties and same things forgetting that there was a new crowd new market in the scene. But somehow to contradict with this statement its when artists such as Focus/Chris do mixes like the one I’ve shared below you realize that the breadth of music knowledge is unaccounted for. Testament of these truths are well orchestrated in different segments on these mixes that were originally done for a Homeboyz Radio (Kenya). The first set has a Jay Z Mix (pay attention to the mixing & the blend). The second set has another 50 cent mash up with P-Square (pay attention to the transitions). The CLIMAX for me and the reason am all emotional on this post is that 3rd set. Focus mixes Bob Marleys – Zion with Black Eyed Peas. Now anyone can blend these two songs, find the right tempo, the right pitch and the right BPM’s and its all greavy. But not very many people have the genius to listen to the peaks and the highs of both songs, ultimately align these songs and then transition into the next (Bob Marley Chorus). That for me is sheer genius. To top it off he goes into NNEKA – Heart Beat (we posted this last year Jan) when no one even cared who Nneka was. Lets just say these mixes have been part of my social music appreciation sessions this weekend driving from Sacramento. Am truly humbled today to share these mixes. I call these sets the creepers/ coz they creep up on you nice and slow.
I wish Chris and their TOD crew all the best – y’all don’t need me to validate the amount of talent you each individually have. And if it sounds like am brown nosing, anyone who knows me – will tell you I complement and give credit where its due – And ever since Prime quit radio and DJying I’ve had to look to an alternative lol. Currently my top five DJs to watch for 2010 are Wesley, Focus, A-Dubb (Allen), Creme, Mista Trixx (if he kills the scratching) and Dyme (bonus). (There are other great DJ’s out there definitely, but they either are established or are missing a beat somewhere, the ones I have mentioned are DJ’s I am following closely and looking at what they do each step of the way).
listen to Take Over DJs – Fully Focus: HB Radio Band 1 here:
listen to Take Over DJs – Fully Focus: HB Radio Band 2 here:
listen to Take Over DJs – Fully Focus: HB Radio Band 3 here:
Download the sets below by right clicking on the file and hit save target as, or save link as.