Hip-hop’s original turntablist tells his story from scratch, from battles in the Bronx through the “Rockit” that took him ‘round the world.
GrandMixer DXT earned the distinction of being hip-hop’s first turntablist when his scratch solo on Herbie Hancock’s 1983 megahit “Rockit” established an altogether new standard of DJ musicianship. This landmark musical moment was in fact the culmination of DXT’s already deep commitment to hip-hop — as a youth coming up in Edenwald Projects in the Bronx, he was a firsthand witness to such foundational figures as Kool Herc and the Herculoids, and he understood the mammoth cultural shift taking place around him. An uptown DJ who was among the first to invade the early ’80s downtown NYC scene, he’d rock punks and b-boys alike at the Roxy, and showcased his prodigious cutting in the climax of the film Wild Style. And as an artist and producer in his own right, his singles for Celluloid and with Bill Laswell’s Material remain dynamic contributions to hip-hop’s then-burgeoning rhythm revolution. For his Fireside Chat, DXT dives into his history with an attention to detail that’s as invaluable as his cuts.