- 9.17.10 - 10:00AM
- - by
- Cole Stryker
14 Videos of The World's Best Turntablist DJs
Turntablism is a form of hip hop which arose in the mid-90s that focuses solely on DJing, typically one of four elements of hip hop culture (the others are breakdancing, graffiti and MCing, or rapping). These DJs manipulate their turntables like instruments, crafting weird sounds by scratching and squiggling rare vinyl. No rapping, just complex arrangements of usually live mixing and scratching.
I've collected 14 of the finest examples of live turntablism on the web. Click through to hear "a little story that must be told..."
(NSFW Warning: Most of these videos contain swears. It's hip-hop, duh.)
One of hip-hop's pioneer DJs performs with nothing but a couple of turntables and a mixer. Nothing visually mindblowing, but it laid the foundation.
The Invisibl Skratch Piklz in 1992
These guys were the crew that standardized turntablism as a distinct form of hip-hop, wherein the focus was specifically on almost athletic forms of scratching and mixing.
Invisibl Skratch Piklz in 2000
This footage was taken from a farewell concert. Note the development of the form over time.
The Lessons - DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Steinski
Here three world class turntablists recreate Steinski's legendary "The Lessons."
Pushing Buttons - DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, DJ Numark
A similar DJ trio does a routine with no turntables, just samplers.
Mixmaster Mike - All The Way (Live)
One member of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz performs an insane set.
Turntablist Legend DJ Craze
In this ad for a sampler, DJ Craze shows off some of the newer trends in turntablism, such as a dubstep influence.
DJ Woody 2002
This set, the rehearsal of which is depicted here, won DJ Woody a turntablist championship in 2002.
DJ Qbert Live Scratch
Here's a more recent video of former Invisibl Skratch Piklz member DJ Qbert.
DJ A-KIDD, seen here at age five...
And here his is four years later, gunning for America's Got Talent.
Birdy Nam Nam - Violons
Here's a French turntable quartet mixing up some violins at a DJ competition.
I highly recommend this documentary about the history of scratching.
DJ MAMA and DJ Truly
And because it's Urlesque, I had to include one video of an animal. Check out this French Bulldog on the wheels of steel.
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