The Death (and Resurrection) of House Music – (Are You A Real House Head??)

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This subject has been something that I have thought about for many years and I think that its time to address it.  As with all of my blogs, this isn’t directed to any one person or incident – it’s a collection of experiences that have happened over many years of experience.  In this blog I want to address all the people who claim to have a love for house music.

I was born a “house head.”  I can say that because I think that anybody who was born before 1975 and raised in Chicago almost didn’t have a choice.  As Hip Hop culture is to NY, so is House culture in Chicago.  House Music in the 80’s wasn’t just a genre of music, it was a culture, a way of life.  People planned their week on what parties they would attend and you HAD to have a cassette deck in your house or car to listen to a Ron Hardy mix live from the Music Box, ToneMaster tape recordings of WBMX’s Hot Mix Five or any other number of classic mixes.

Let me clue everybody in on a missed “concept” about House DJ’s in the 1980’s.  In Chicago there were several House DJ’s that are considered pioneers or legends.  This is not an all-inclusive list, but for the purpose of conversation I will say that Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles, Lil Louis and Steve Hurley were 4 of the most revered Club DJ’s of that time.  Here is what set them all apart – they didn’t play the same music.  Frankie may have had a “Bad Luck” edit that the others didn’t have.  Louis debuted his new tracks live at the Bismark Hotel before they ever hit vinyl.  Ron may have played a Jamie Principal cut before anybody else had it.  I can remember being at the Hotel Intercontinental looking at Steve Hurley play the original Jack Your Body on a 4-track Tascam.

There used to be a time that people went to the club to listen to new music, to be introduced to something different.  They wanted to be there while history was being made.

My point is that introducing listeners to new music was each of these legends claim to fame.  You HAD to be at their parties because you may miss the time they introduced a new song.  Of course there were classic songs that worked for everybody, but it was the introduction of new styles, new songs and new energy (i.e. Farley’s “Jack Tracks” , Chip E’s “It’s House”, Phuture’s “Acid Trax”) where the old school energy began to fuse successfully with new flavor and go to new places.  It became an exciting challenge and a testament to the creativity of these legends to push the envelope and take the music in new directions.

It can definitely be said that 1982 – 1990 is the golden age of house music.  Fast forward to 2009, where has house music gone?  Quite honestly, house “music” has gone to newer, better and even more exciting places.  Unfortunately, the “house head” is stuck between 1982 – 1990.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a contingency of house music listeners who have progressed with the music and understand that DJ’s like DJ Emanuel, Vick Lavender, Ron Trent, Gene Hunt and many, many others in Chicago are breaking new ground and pushing the house music envelope forward.  Again, the disappointing part is that the once fertile mind of the “house head” in many cases is more closed off and narrow in their thinking than ever.  I have news for the self-proclaimed house head stuck in the 80’s – THIS IS A NEW MILLENNIUM AND THE MUSIC HAS PROGRESSED!!

Unfortunately the old school house head comes out to attempt to recreate history as opposed to take the trip to where the music has progressed.

I would consider myself as much of a Hip Hop fan as I am a House fan (the same could be said of Jazz and Old School R&B – I’m a lover of great music.)  Imagine if Hip Hop had stopped in the 80’s.  Imagine if we were never willing to give Common, Jay Z, Biggie, Kanye or Tupac a chance to be introduced.  The “old school house head” is living the House Music of the past and not allowing the music to be what it is.  House Music by its roots is a music of growth and development – not stagnation.

I want to thank Oscar McMillan and Vick Lavender for bringing me over to the “other side” of house music back in 1999.  Also, I want to thank Boolumaster, Fathom DJ, Sadar, Ron/Rick Troupe, Mark Grant, Gene Ferris, Terry Hunter, David Sabat, Andre Hatchett and the other DJ’s named above (along with countless others in Chicago) for progressing the sound and continuing to introduce listeners to new house music.  I also want to thank promoters like Ronda Flowers, Koko and Dave Risque along with the House Music websites and publications that keep the music going.  It would be impossible to name everyone that has a hand in keeping the movement going.   My point moreover is that the listener has to decide that they will not be stuck in a time warp and will grow with the music.  We never have to abandon the past/classics, at the same time we should not be stuck there and we always need to keep moving forward.

Let me make it clear – I’m not talking about Techno, Electro, etc.  There are great, soulful, NEW house songs being made and released on a monthly basis.  No they don’t sound like Dr. Love, The Love I Lost or The Real Thing.  It’s the same way that Jay Z doesn’t sound like LL.  The past has its place, but there’s “HEAT” being made now – people just have to be receptive to new music.

The bottom line is that anytime I get a chance to spin House Music I will always pay homage to the past, but I will always keep the music moving forward.  I want to return to a day where people come to the DJ and say “I like that song – I’ve never heard it before” as opposed to “why is he playing this – I’ve never heard it before.” House Music was a music of firsts and is known for introducing new energy, it can be that again if people open up to accepting that new can be good, if not better than old.  Quality is what matters and there’s still quality house music being made.

House Music is not dead, the movement is going strong.  There is an opportunity here for the “so called” house head to resurrect themselves and be a part of the movement.  Free your mind and the rest will follow…One House Nation Under A Groove – VA

Websites dedicated to the progressive spirit of House Music:

www.deephousepage.com

www.housemusicscene.com

www.housemusicchannel.net

www.grooveparlor.com

www.deepershades.net

www.thaunderground.com/subhtml/music.htm

http://davidsabat.com/live/

www.boolumaster.com

For more info and updates, add me/visit me on:

http://twitter.com/djvinceadams

http://www.djvinceadamschicago.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-Vince-Adams/122820205624?ref=ts

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34 Responses to “The Death (and Resurrection) of House Music – (Are You A Real House Head??)”

  1. Priscilla "Tiviah" Says:

    I agree and consider myself to be progressive with all genres of music. The memories just don’t go away so easy. When I go out to house parties of today, I like the music but have a hard time expressing myself thru dance the way that I did when I was younger. I acknowledge you for taking the time out to fully express yourself on this subject.

  2. Damn, VA–you are so on point. I fit the criteria you listed for a house head: born before 1975, partying under Ron, Frankie, Lil Louis, Andre, the Hot Mix 5 (with the Tonemaster tape and pause button) and probably those you didn’t name as well as being a lover of great music. And though I don’t make the music or know how to spin the music–i love music nonetheless, and music is my life–to quote two great house classics. Take care and keep it flowin’.

  3. Marco A Hernandez Says:

    I agree also.. many a person has forgotten that before there was “stanky leg” or ‘swag surf” there was house music.. many see house music as something that their old brother or sister may have listened to in the 80’s & 90’s and find it uncool.. as soon as someone plays house or something that isnt common for them they look @ the dj and immediately start to complain..
    the music that is made nowadays pales in comparision to music of years past there is no “heart ” or “soul” in it..

    I understand that crowds today are very fickle when it comes to “music” many are not willing to listen to music other than top 40 radio music..

    I applaud you for making this blog..

    much respect and love!!!

  4. Alright Vinny! Now when can I hear “Walk the Night”?

  5. Diana - DiShep Says:

    Well written Vince. You’re definitely right! I fit the profile that you’ve stated above for a house head. Unfortunately, I am still stuck in the old, deep and classic house music of the past. However, since I’ve relocated back to Chicago temporarily, I am more open to exploring the new house music sounds.

    Much thanks to YOU, Terry Hunter, Cordell Johnson, Emanuel, Jozana Sithole and Jaime 3:26 for introducing me to the newer house music, some of which I am starting to enjoy. Take care!

  6. Mike N Atlanta Says:

    VA,
    Thank you for posting this on your blog. I moved from Chicago to Atlanta in 1994 following the Olympics and the growth it had to offer. When I tell you I gave up so much.

    Now don’t get me wrong Atlanta had a monthly Second Saturday or Ear Wax where you could by remixed house music or on occasions some real underground house and to hear house music you had to go to Gay clubs.

    Now, when I left Chicago I left a movement were house music took a stand in so many ways. Straights, Gays, Black, White, Latino and/or whatever partied together and it was a non stop dance night. I remember Going to AKAs, Warehouse, MusicBox, LaRays, Club House, Foxys, RedDogs and so many other places through out the week. It was a network that remained tight.

    I remember listening to KKC, WGCI, Killer Bee 96 all putting it down with live DJ spinning on thursday, friday and saturday nites. I remember meeting Ron Hardy going to his place putting stuff on dats.. before he turns it in to the radion station. I mean he was creating his but off just like others during that time Im sure.
    Anyway, I want to let you know that you are being heard way down south in Atlanta. Even Ron Pullman, Frank Ski and so many other house Djs tried to bring the house movement here and didnt get the response that they were used to when he DJ in Maryland, Chicago, Philly, New York and other places back in the day when we call the house parties the “Underground Partys”.
    Again anyway, Thanks for bringing this point up it was a very good and needed topic to post. I will see you in the A soon.

  7. Back in 1978 I graduated from Mendel Catholic High School and along with that came the end of my social/dance club The Doctors…I had become a fixture on the party scene and was considered a promoter of events as well….another Mendel Graduate Craig Thompson was/is a friend of mine and I approached him about co-laborating on future projects together…He suggested that I give a party at the Warehouse and he hooked me up with Robert and Ziggy the managers of the Warehouse…I went to a party to see what it was like and that’s when I heard Frankie Knockles for the 1st time…I had been to the Den before thanks to Craig Thompson and Wayne Williams (another good friend) was experimenting with classic house cuts so I wasn’t what you might call a virgin, however the atmosphere …lights…dance…fashion etc everything about it, to make a long story short…WAS DIFFERENT…and that is what I wanted to share with the general public clientele that The Doctors reputation had garnered me…I gave my party at the Warehouse to the shock and surprise of many many people because the club was a GAY club and I left that little bit of information off my invitation…Ha!!! Well the party to me was a success although it was the only one I gave there but IT WAS THE START OF HOUSE MUSIC as we know it today because of the meshing of the general public with the newness of the underground…Afterwards Tony Smith teamed up with artist Craig Perry and Arthur-i-tis (Bisease Boyz) Bailey and gave several Warehouse parties eventually moving to other venues like Sauers and another location I pioneered The Loft. When I look out today some 30 + years later I marvel at how nothing has changed and yet so much is changing…that’s what it was all about in the first place the introduction of something NEW….Ha!!! Fasten your seat belts House Heads…you never know whats around the corner….and just so there ain’t no mistaking it….yeah I said I am responsible for the phenomenom of House Music as we know it today…Ha!!! Fireman Bahb Peters best class of Mendel 78…Long Live The Doctors.

  8. I am a music lover …………. not just house music but all genre’s of music……. I do however love house music mostly disco and soulful house. Some may call me a househead but I would rather say I am a music lover. I wasn’t in Chicago around the 80’s it wasn’t until the early 90’s that I had moved to Chicago and was introduced into house music.

    Your blog is on point. Alot of the old school househeads are stuck in that era and are quick to declare they are a true househead. What kills me is that a lot of “true househeads” as they would call themselves talk about those who are open to new music and quick to say you aren’t a true househead.

    Whatever happened to just loving music why does it always have to be a contest. I have noticed that alot of the house scene is a competition and drama and that is a big turn off for me at least. I just want to hear good music not about who is outdoing who and who is real or not.

  9. I wouldn’t consider myself a house head. I love house music, but I didnt live ANY of those experiences. I’m more an insider/outsider. I’ve lived in chicago since the mid 90’s/born in milwaukee, but I’m like a griot. I soak in the stories & history and that’s what’s helped me to be successful in this city.

    That said, I can honestly say the lack of progression with house music with the black core house fan has less to do with the music & more to do with memories. Michael Jackson, house music, its all the same. Yes the music was better back in the day, yes there were classics, but house music is like this blog post, you cant tell a story about it without talking about the mixes on the radio or how you felt at that party or that time frankie/ron/lil louis pulled out that track and everyone lost their minds!

    You ever notice when people go to see Frankie or Louis spin TODAY that you always hear, Man Louis didnt even play the version of Blackout I wanted to hear, or Frankie played all NY stuff all night. That’s because they could never live up to each individual memory of the hundreds of people that came to hear them play so they’re like, fuck it, I’m doing ME not THEM.

    so now, take that to the average person. the 35+ year old house music fan. (S)he’s not a DJ, (s)he’s not progressive. they got kids now, a spouse maybe, bills, etc. They don’t have time to go out like they used to because they gotta work in the morning or do something with the kids on the weekend. So they go to the Chosen Few picnic and all they wanna hear is “those songs” (and really there are hundreds of them, I dont know why u have to hear U aint really down 10 times in one day) They wanna hear those songs because this is the one day a year for a lot of them that they get to be carefree again and hear the soundtrack of their lives.

    So what about the part where u said those DJs used to introduce new music into the mix but today’s house DJ can’t as much? man, there’s a lot of “new house” but it really aint THAT good. I mean, its GOOD, but it aint floor-filler good. What is there ONE “Mirror Dance” type record every few years?

    so TO ME, its not so much about folks being stuck in a time warp, but reliving good times. lets face it when shit is bad as it is now (economy) people losing their jobs, cant pay bills like they could a couple years ago, we’re by nature going to turn to things that make you relive a better time. You wonder why there’s such a high demand for old school house parties and why there’s more WEEKLY events now that in the 14 years I’ve lived in Chicago? Visions, Reynolds, The Dating Game, The Rev, etc…because of hard times. Older people with responsibilities want to escape. They dont wanna escape with progressive music, they wanna escape with the coming of age memories that are brought about by classic house music.

    • Man…nicely put MikeLove…a similiar description was given to me when I was talking to my friend Cheryl Aikens about Michael Jackson….she said something to the effect of how so much of our history would disappear the one constant everyone could relate to was Michael Jackson….now he’s gone and me and a lot of other people are like oh no not Mike!!!! House music is a wonderful memory for a lot of people, me included, and it can be therapeutic, I guess taht’s why we cling to the “oldies but goodies” Ha!!

  10. its all a part of the beautiful struggle….change is often uncomfortable..but always necessary…Good music is good music.Period.I have an aesthetic that I adhere to….and I always play the stuff that I like.I am too old to be playing with my own emotions in such a way…It has prevented me from getting certain types of gigs..BUT…in the end…I’m glad that I have followed my own path..I have no interest in rocking the same stuff in 2009 that I did in 1989 or 1999 for that matter!I will always be an upholder of the code&I commend you for this blog.peace

  11. DUDE U KNOW I WAS BORN B4 75. READING YOUR BLOG TAKES ME BACK TO SEEING JAIME PERFORM AT MENDEL EVEN THO I WAS IN 8TH GRADE. SNEAKIN IN THE MUSIC BOX, LYING TO CHICKS TELLING THEM I WAS DOWN WITH GUCCI PROMOTIONS. BEIN CALLED FARLEY. MY FIRST TIME HEARING MELODIES!!! OOOOWWWWEEEE! I MUST ADMIT IM NOT TOO HIP ON THE NEW SOUND IN HOUSE. ONCE IT WENT TO BEAT TRAX BEATING BITCHES WITH BATS AND FOOT WORK I TUNED OUT. REMEMBER THE PARTY AT MCCORMICKPLACE OR AT THE COUNTRY CLUB. DAMN JOE I FEEL OLD. YO, COULD U TELL ME WHERE I COULD GET SOME OF THE GOOD NEW ISH? OR COULD U SEND ME A DUB?

    GET AT ME, PEACE!

  12. thanks va..we gotta push this thing forward!

  13. J Green Says:

    VA. . .man o man u really “put it in the air” on this one. I have to take my hat off to you and say that this is a conversation that me and my guys (Torin Edmond, Jay-Too, Charles Esco, Jim “Beam”, Ted Hampton. We have this SAME convo. But in the immortal words of Lil Louis, “They used to laugh at me. . . .but I saw the future!” And VA, there is SOOO much heat that is still in the crates that has yet to be discovered. Great post. Much respect to you.

  14. Appreciate the love and respect to give to a genre born here in Chicago. I also appreciate the historical timeline for those of us born outside of Chicago who appreciate house old and new. My introduction to house was latter years of the 80’s (88) by Chicago’s own Ten City. I latched on and fully became a house head when I first moved here in 96. While in route from Milwaukee where I was training I stopped off at Gurnee Mills and picked up a House CD from one of the venders by DJ Vince Adams, which I still listen to till this day. So thank you for continuing to share your gifts and talents both in prose and on the ones and twos. I have a request for your next gig ( Thursday) for Earth People’s Dance which was also on that CD.

  15. @ MikeLove you hit it on the head when you said that alot of the new music isn’t really that good ( dance floor filler) But in reality there is A LOT of really good new music but it’s mostly underground or it is out of the state or country. Chicago can claim their fame to house music but it’s not just Chicago anymore this is world wide. Some people need to go out the box sometimes and see what’s out there. But if you want to talk strictly about Chicago Djs then Strictly Jazz Unit (Boo Williams/Glenn Underground) Gene Hunt, Stacy Kidd, David Sabat, Lee Farmer, Mike Dunn are just a few of the many Great DJ’s. Oh and I was really feeling Lil Louis new album to!

  16. Djdoc Matrix Says:

    This is a hard subject for me because as a DJ who did it thru those years I’ve seen it from all sides. House never died, it just got pushed to the back of the line. Unfortunately there’s not enough room to cover it all so I’m going to do my best 2 condense it. In this blog there’s been a lot of spot on comments. MikeLove took it to another level. He hit it on the subject on the Chosen Few picnic which 4 the frist time I attended this year because I wasn’t Djing out of town. I too was one who was waiting & yearning to hear the classics but also waiting 2 hear new & inspiring music. It is our duty as Dj’s to keep & advance the movement we know as HOUSE Music. Some of us played to popularity, some played for the love & some played for the check. Again, HOUSE never died but like everything it waited it’s turn. If you check music history it always goes full circle. I remember being in London when LiL Louis got his House award & in his speech he proclaimed House would never die. He said he was born house, he lives house & he will die house. I’ve played house as long as I’ve been a Dj from my days @ AKA’s with Gary Wallace to the Charlie Club with Joe Smooth to The CLIQUE nite club. Don’t get me wrong, I too had to reinvent myself from changing my name From Dj Doc to adding Matrix to my name because everybody started using the name. I even did a residency in Vegas @ C2K’s to continue to play the music I loved (House Music). So I applaud the Dj’s who never gave up, we know the high profile names Mike Dunn, Terry, Andre etc but also the new true breed Dj’s & definitely the Dj’s in the trenches who we may or may not know like Dj Pierre, Dj Silk, Dj Chris S etc. Vince didn’t know me & I didn’t know him but we were both doing our thing on different sides of town. Me @ the Clique & Vince @ River West. Dj’s keep doing your thing. Like in life, if you love something you nurture and hold on to it. House music is from the soul so it will never die! It just evolves. Remember, House was an underground art form, then it surfaced thru Radio & the mainstream clubs & then it went underground again and now guess what. It has surfaced again in a bold new way. Embrace it, Love it, Enjoy it.

  17. Marcus Chapman Says:

    While I understand the “pain of the DJ” in wanting to play new house music, Mike Love hit it right on the head. DJs will always want to expose new cuts, but the people who came up through the house movement want the memories that go along with the music they loved. You can’t tell people that u will go “old school” or “back in the day”, mention the Bismarck, the Box, Mendel and the other old spots then get upset when folks dont vibe to the new songs getting played that dont connect with the memories of those places. The crowd isnt just hearing songs, they’re re-living the times when they didnt have alot of responsibilities. Who goes to a class reunion to hear current music? When my cousins and our friends from the old neighborhood heard “You Cant Hide From Yourself” at the Chosen Few picnic 2 years ago, we immediately began talking about the first time we heard it, the clothes we wore, and the flyers we collected. The next song was something new we hadn’t heard before. It was okay, but it completely killed the vibe we had and others around us felt the same way. This is the point too many DJs seem to forget.
    Another important thing that’s been forgotten is this: the pioneer DJs didnt just expose the new tracks that they and others like them created. They also exposed us to the new deep cuts they found. People recall the first time they heard “I Cant Turn Around”, “Melodies”, “Welcome to the Club” and other deep joints just like the first time they heard “Jack Your Body” and “It’s House”. This is where the whole early ’90s cut off point comes in. I actually played house music on my first radio show in college back in ’92 and it didn’t take off. By that time Knuckles was back in New York, Hardy had died, and most of the other legends had moved on from spinning at parties to bigger things outside of the Chicago house scene. The up and coming house DJs at the time dropped the new tracks with no problem. But when it came to the deep cuts, they kept playing the same ones over and over again. Deep house was being narrowed down to what I called the “common cuts”. These included “Baby I’m Scared of You”,“I Want to Thank You”, “Is It All Over My Face”, “Give Me Your Love”, and Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do”. Although they were classics, the overexposure of these songs and a handful of others began to get irritating, and it weakened house music overall. Whenever I heard “you ain’t no Houdini, naw I know I ain’t!” from “Baby I’m Scared of You” or the crowd response of “hell yeah!” to “Is It All Over My Face” I wanted to smack somebody because I was discovering a gang of deep cuts that weren’t being exposed. The DJs stopped playing alot of deep cuts because the crowds were getting younger and they didnt connect with that music. Most of the house mixes on the radio were gone too, so younger people coming up werent exposed to it like cats in the ’80s. Many of the house people who go to the events now stopped partying by the early ’90s, so when u advertise that there will be “House Music” played they think of the stuff from the golden era.
    The bottom line in my opinion is this: give the people what they want. If folks deal with all the BS of life everyday, pay for gas, parking, admission, drinks, or anything else that goes along with the experience just to get away from it all, they should not be chastised for wanting to hear particular music. When DJs start telling people they’re wrong for wanting or not wanting particular music then they’re forgetting their greatest power of all: helping people enjoy themselves. I’m not saying playing new stuff is a totally bad thing, but remember who your crowd is and what they’re paying to hear. Even if the event is free, the crowd feels cheated if they’re led to believe it’s one thing but turns out to be something else. That’s like putting an Atari 2600 on ebay and sending the winner Madden 09! If u want to play new house, advertise it in a way that folks know what they’re getting like “New House Night” or something. But promoters know the crowd will be alot smaller if they do that. When u try to mix new cuts with the classics, it’s gotta be played in a way that it flows right in with the vibe of the party. If the DJs can do that, then the new music might be accepted a little better. But if the new tracks aint strong enough to stand toe to toe with “Law and Order”, “It Looks Like Love”, “Keep Your Body Workin”, “Music is the Key”, “Everybody Have a Good Time”, “Smack Dab in the Middle”, “Double Cross”, or “Faces Drums beat 3” dont waste my damn time and dont get mad when the House Heads dont like it.

    • Well said…again, like I said it was the “creativity” that I knew people would like and I was right…proof 30+ years later it’s still going strong…but artistically speaking it is up to the DJ’s to figure out a way to incorporate the old with the new and make it appealing…which is what Frankie is/was doing and every other DJ should strive to do with their “House Gumbo”..hey, that might make a nice title for a groove….Ha!!! Let the creative juices flow….Ha!!! You say it here first…Ha!! No applause neccesary…Ha!!!

    • Ted Hampton Says:

      CHURCH!

      Well said! Chicago is a city of subcultures, Househeads and Steppers are the two cultures that are primarily compromised of individuals between the ages 30and up. There are some individuals who straddle the fence between both (Stepping and House ) and there are those who choose one over the other. Where does the new club or underground fit in that it just doesn’t. Mainly, because it does not hold the nostalgic value that Neo-Soul has here in Chicago so it’s hard to push that on a culture of centered on soulful music.
      Most of the people that grew up with house music which was comprised of early on as (Eurodance on to Disco/Soul and Dance Tracks) expect to hear that music. Unfortunately, there only a few good producers of new music and the overall discography of “club” or new house music is limited and cannot compete with a lot of the classics vocally, in orchestration and musical arrangement that could be the reason why a lot of club or “new house” tunes are remakes of classic songs or new R&B tunes. There is a lot of music for early 80’s late 70’s that have not been touched.
      More DJs are embracing club music because it is less challenging (blending) than disco or garage classics. With a advent of new technology in DJing (Serrato) you’re going to have more club DJs sprouting up if you’re not producing your own music what is going to distinguish you as a DJ from others, who play the same style of music (only your reputation and that doesn’t last long). As it was stated earlier, it you want play that style of music then state that specifically on your flyers so your consumer knows what to expect when they come to those venues.

    • wow, MC you said it all. Everything I feel and more. I just wanted to touch on one more point that I forgot to mention. EDITS! DJ’s speak of the creative freedom of playing new music but all the DJ’s they listened to back-in-the-day did WHAT to make that song their own? AN EDIT! Do DJ’s do that now?

      Rarely.

      Some do, I heard Mike Dunn play a mean edit of “Let No Man Put Asunder” recently, Terry Hunter played a beatin’ version of Bostich with a slammin track rollin underneath it & Maurice Joshua had CRAZY edits at this party I went to recently. Now, the 3 DJs I just mentioned are not only well known worldwide as DJs but are also producers which means they’re creative playing music AND making it.

      I been around this scene 14 years fam & I aint gon lie, there’s a lot of good DJs, there’s not a lot of CREATIVE DJs! Another thing that separated the house music pioneers… Lil Louis to Frankie to Hurley, Dunn, Joshua, Hunter, Wayne Williams…from everyone else is they all MADE RECORDS! The generation after them never even picked up a drum or keyboard. I remember asking my radio partner back in the day, what’s up, I know you got a 808 or a 909 cuz EVERYBODY in Chicago got a 909 (so I heard. u coulnt be a dj without one) Dude was like, I aint never worked a drum machine in my life!

      that was a tangent, not saying you gotta make records or have made them to BE fresh, but it helps!

      Bottom line is you don’t have to play new songs to be creative or fresh. Nigga, Mike Dunn started off a set recently with ACID TRACKS. For a dude to have the nuts to play that record 1st in a set in 2009 was all the creativity I needed to hear.

  18. Dj VA I agree that people have not evolved wit the music I think sum of that comes from the fact that we don’t won’t 2 grow n accept that we r older it is 1 thing to hear the music n fall back n2 a space n time n its another 2 not b able 2 let go of that time I still come out just 2 hear djs play gud music keep up the gud work peace

  19. WOW WELL SAID Vince!!!! ive been saying that for so many years now im sick of talking about it so i just do what i do & i cant worry about the people that is stuck… for those of you that dont know i have traveled all over the world playing House music & its sad to say everywhere else has moved on except us meaning Chicago… so i feel its my Job to never let the light come off us all the way so i rep the city hard… but when fans around the world come to the city that birth this music they are like wow what happen, no dis but every whole in the wall lounge or bar has a House night & its sad to say that’s where our music went…. its cool to have a few spots but damn people give it up this music is ment for clubs.

    So thats what motivates me to keep making & playing new music cause i wanna see this new generation come around & not be closed minded to just classics or it will DIE!!!. Respect to all the people who came out to the Chosen Few Picnic this thing keeps getting bigger & bigger & if u notice more people from around the world is coming we had people from Ny, LA, Detroit, London Japan, Atl, not jus to hear classics but to hear stuff they never heard b4… so many of you complained that the music wasn’t old school enough well look around you, people wanna hear a mix of new & old thats why it gets bigger every year… WAKE UP i love my classic & disco but there is so much room for more.

    What’s wrong with creating new memories our past is our past we will never forget it nor can we re create it… so if u stop trying maybe you will open up ya ears a lil knowing that… i learned from Ron & Frankie i remember @ Aka in the early 90’s i had a big party & Ron Hardy open up for me (you know he never open up for anybody) & that brother told me that i had something in me that the world needed to hear, my job as a Dj was to educate dont get stuck in this chicago *hit… cause that was the point when even ron who broke so many records in his career was almost force to play classics @ that time from that point i never look back. so in closing the music is out there you jus gotta find it & let ya Dj’s have more freedom than you give them.

    Aiight VA i said my peace great post fam lol… Also Aug 21st My Bday Bash with Kenny “Dope” from Masters At Work @ The Shrine come get taught people we gonna mix new & old… Love.

    • In all fairness…how could you not let Michael Jackson dominate the Chosen Few Picnic…I was loving how the audience was singing along to Off The Wall…..”and just enjoy yourself” Remember???? Long live Michael J.

  20. Hey Vince: This is on point! For house music to get the the next level, the people involved need to be more business savvy, and stop back stabbing each other. There’s more than enough for everyone to become millionaires in the house music industry, and at the same time, bring house music to a level just as big as Hip-Hop.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

  21. i make it I play it and it aint dead. it is on IPODS all across the country.
    I look at the stats and make something GOod watch how much it travels.

    Subpar dj’s playing stevie wonder aint cutting it no more.

    The thing I liked about see my fav dj when I was a Teen was the fact they got it right.

    They searched high and low 4 those records.

    They Made records and broke records. That is what djin is to me make and breaking music.
    remixing the old with the new school.

    I put together this Lady gaga Just dance remix and it started out as a blend.
    I did some looping and a few adjustments and now the remix is been download more than 500,000 times.

    Im sayin house is very alive but it is smarter faster clearer and not under lower wacker drive no more.

    Deep house the current form my fade away until the next generation of dj’s put that remix twist on it and then it pops back out via samples.

    Good Music is timeless that is why 5 year old will dance to micheal and james Brown

    http://www.chiradio.podomatic.com

  22. and yes i know SPELL CHECK NEXT TIME BUT U GET MY POINT.
    RON HARDY MICHEAL JACKSON JAMES BROWN CURTIS MAYFIELD ARE GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN.

    The music and memories are documented in audio and video formats. we keep it alive by playin it and consumers demanding it & then buying it.

  23. Joe Kollege Says:

    Great piece, VA! I think music is a reflection of life, and just like life music must progress. I think folk do need to be more open-minded to new music, not just house but all genres. As a DJ it gets depressing when promoters and party goers ask you to play the same things night in and night out. It’s like no one want to be educated on new music. I’ve traveled down to Miami for the WMC for the last 3 years and that has shown me that people outside of Chicago are very progressive when it comes to House music. Something that was created here and now the world has taken it to greater heights, but the people (not the djs) that gave birth to it are too stubborn to open their minds to something innovative…

    Keep doin’ ya thing!!! Again, great blog!

  24. WOW…Well I am not a House Head, I was not raised here in the Chi however I LOVE House Music! I had the opportunity to be introduced to House Music back in 1990 while attending college down south, Holly Springs, MS (Rust College). Being from Milwaukee, I related most to my fellow Midwest Neighbors…My Chicago Peeps! The people from Chicago ran the party scene and what did they play….House Music *boppin my head right now* I was experiencing a new time in my life and I was experiencing a movement and didn’t begin understand it until I moved here in 1991. I have had this somewhat love affair since then. Now do not get me wrong I love music period but there is something about house music that makes my soul smile. However, I must say that I wish I had the opportunity to experience more of the progression. I wish there were better avenues out there to spread the news or a better way for us house lovers to become more in touch with different venues. I am grateful for Twitter and Facebook bridging that gap but it is a pretty big gap if you are not one who is always on the club scene. Kudos to you Vince for taking the time to share and expressing your opinion, it is valued and duly noted. Keep up the good work and thanks for always giving us something to look forward to.

    -Cat (An aspiring House Head)

  25. I understand what you’re saying and have been screaming this from the mountaintops for years. Instead of spending my energy in trying to get people from being stuck in the 80’s, i have just decided to vote with my $ and not come to your event if you’ve booked dj’s who play nothing but classics. In the last month or 2 i have had 4 separate promoters ask me why i dont come to their events and each one of these are successful nights and events. I kept thinking why are they worried why i’m not there. I’m no one important and not particularly popular but these situations put me on the spot to tell them why i’m not there. I chose not to but i’ll collectively tell them now. I come out for music and if the dj’s at your spot are bullshit, I AINT COMING!!! I don’t care how far we go back, how close we are, how many fine ass women you got in the pictures on facebook, or anything else. I won’t be there. Its too expensive to go out these days for me to be in the corner complaining about your wack ass dj who thinks his brand new edit of Bad luck is groundbreaking! Dude, it isn’t. However you arrange that song, its been done before and probably better. So i’m suppose to pull some clothes out of the cleaners, pay for gas, parking, cover charge, and assorted beverages for me and whatever fine ass woman i’m trying to entertain long enough for her to distract me from the sounds of this horrible ass dj who sounds like he’s still at the battle of the dj’s at Aquinas high school on 71st. Fuck that, i don’t think so. Aquinas closed in 83 and so did the playlist that seems to be going around the city from Dj to Dj. Its like so many dj’s in chicago are playing from crate A or crate B. The same songs over and over while asking for higher drink prices while we have less disposable income than we did in our 20’s. It has led to a messed up situation that has me in the house too many nights when i would be out if i felt it was worth it. In 2001, Dj Cheez, Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Craig Alexander, and myself went to New York for a weekend. We went to several parties friday, saturday, & Sunday including a massive party at Shelter on saturday. ‘Change for me’ had just come out and it was the party of the night at every party we went to. Everybody was singin the lyrics and everything. It was almost another 3 to 4 years before dj’s in Chicago were playing that record citywide. For Chicago, the birthplace of house music, to be 3 years late on a worldwide hit like that is pathetic. People in chicago were too busy bothering the dj and asking him to play ‘Melodies’ for the 3rd time of night like it was a brand new jam!! The situation has become so bad i find myself going out almost once a month and now people think you’re sick or somethings wrong when they see you out. I’m not sick, i’m fine. I just need good music and dj’s to play a few songs i dont know to get me excited about going out again.

  26. i completely agree. people are afraid of change and thus they hold on to the status quo too long. music is meant to entertain and bring like souls together. different doesn’t mean bad, a DJ’s job is introduce the dancer/listener to new music, (s)he needs to see the dance floor crowded! sooner hopefully, rather than later they’ll understand it’s a force that can’t be stopped…CHANGE!!! keep it groovin’ and growin’ Vince!! Love!!

  27. I’ve been keeping up with this and Iwant to remind everyone that change is what brought about house music in the 1st place….remember….basically DJ’s took music and re-created it….it was magical….so come on all you DJ’s out there creating magic…just like Houdini….there is a new generation of magicians who have the burden of mesmerizing us AGAIN….get creative with music period new, old, international, make up your own….who cares…just do your thang and you will be recognized because it will be from your heart…:0) Ha!!!!

    Fireman Bahb

  28. This was bomb. Glad U finally tuned me N2 it.

    I’m that undisputed Househead that has advocated 4 the continued growth of the scene since B4 it reached its past apex. It wasn’t just music. It was a culture left 2 die slow as elitist music snobs turned away the same young people they themselves once were in the clubs and left them 4 easy prey 2 the Clear Channel (anti)music beast that lurked in the shadows waiting 2 capture small, impressionable minds (shouts out 2 WGCI).

    The music did develop. Chicago didn’t. Cats got older, as it’s been said, without passing the music, the culture 2 the next generation. Of course there has been some great soulful music produced since those “hey days.” We R, have been, and will continue 2 B an innovative people with a disparaging commonality of disregarding our many creations. That innovation has gone on 2 “Jack” heads of other colors, in other countries, and even other cities outside of its home. Many of us miss it here because of those narrow minded, elitist views held stubbornly 2 until the music reflects the people; old, slow, and lounge like. I HATE that sh**; that boring, souless, mid-tempo bull that the “progressives” here adhere 2 . Cats R still making music 2 make “real” people move in the same fashion that the older folks reminiscence about but because of the stifling of the culture there’s not a large following here ready 2 enjoy it.

    I LOVE the “classics.” True music is timeless but we have 2 stay open 2 the new or we R saying that our genius as artists has died.

    Glad U put it out here, V. The dancefloor will show if this can help make a difference. I’ll B there, getting down as usual 😉

    All love,
    Khari B.

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