DJ Jazzy Jeff Says Everybody "Wants To Be A Deejay"

The award-winning artist says he's seen deejaying come "full circle."

The deejay's place in the Hip Hop hierarchy may be changing. The deejay is the cornerstone of the culture, so much so that in early Rap groups the deejay got first billing, as was the case with Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Eric B. & Rakim and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

As Rap became Hip Hop's most popular component, though, the deejay faded from the spotlight, so much so that many rappers traveled and performed without deejays. DJ Jazzy Jeff, in particular, has been an award-winning deejay since the 1980s and watched the deejay fade from the limelight as his career with the Fresh Prince began taking off in the late 1980s. 

"I think the deejay didn't get the spotlight for a good bit of time," DJ Jazzy Jeff says in an interview with VladTV. Jeff says that times are changing, though. "I think the deejay has the complete spotlight now 'cause everybody in the world wants to be a deejay," he says. "It's the biggest thing in the world...You have deejays making an enormous amount of money now just because the music is so big and the deejay is so powerful. It's kind of come full circle."

Today Jeff performs deejay sets around the world and was recently a judge at the Red Bull Thre3Style US Finals in Los Angeles. He also said in the interview that he doesn't like "sucker deejays," people Jeff says are "someone who pre-records what they do." Jeff says he doesn't see that often though, since he doesn't travel in those circles.

RELATED: You Ain't No DJ



  • Anonymous

    dj khaled aint no real dj

  • Anonymous

    ja rule was a dj for vlad the impaler

  • RC

    I'd use the term "DJ" loosely knowadays, most people are just a bunch of glorified button pushers. Very few new cats show skill in actual turntablism today.

    • foreal

      i have to agree, when i first started to DJ (i dont anymore), scratching was beginning to be a lost art. DJ's now just have fancy computer programs that do the work for them. I would rather call them "blenders" because they can blend hits to move a crowd.

    • Gary

      If you haven't heard a track with scratching in it... your not listening to Hip Hop... just rap. Do the knowledge.

    • Anonymous

      i haven't heard scratching on any recent hip hop songs at all

  • Anonymous

    Most DJ's are broke and powerless. They using modern technology to do the work for them. Jazzy Jeff was one of the luckier one's because of Will Smith, but he shouldn't talk like he's shattering Forbes records.

    • dazone

      Jeff made Prince initially ...He was a not Jeff's best MC he was just the best songwriter...they got big because of the live show which featured Jeff (also Jeff produced the music initaily with those old philly park breaks). Prince also had talent in storytelling rhyme and freestyling he got busy. I am saying this to say he didnot get lucky ..they were a team in which prince rode on Jeff coatails at first... West Philly all day...58st/60st

  • Anonymous

    Naw everybody want toe be a rapper and the chicks want to be models. Checkout thegrandreport, they have some good reads and videos on there too

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