DJ Babu recently spoke on coining the term “turntablist,” a word for which he isn’t entirely comfortable taking credit. Talking with Ruby Hornet TV, the Dilated Peoples member first explained that he takes it in stride when people say he came up with the term.
“I’m flattered when people say that. To be honest with you, that’s something I used to write on the mixtapes,” he said. “At the time, I had this mixtape out in ’96. I was super about treating the turntable as an instrument. Super in that mode, and I used to write ‘Babu the Turntablist’ instead of DJ Babu.”
But he doesn’t feel entirely content with claiming the word as his own. “I don’t all the way feel comfortable taking credit for it because there were a lot of people doing it before I was,” he said. “I don’t see any money for it which would be fuckin’ spectacular.”
He praised Grandmaster DXT, formerly known as Grandmaster DST, as the “original turntablist.” “Even before the term came around, I still remember vividly as a child seeing him on ‘Saturday Night Live’ with Herbie Hancock and the ‘Rocket’ band. He was the star of the fuckin’ show. He was like the lead musician out of that whole ship. It will always forever leave a dent in my mind how he was up there like a lead guitarist. This guy was positioned in the front. The only person in the band who could get more shine than him was Herbie Hancock.”