By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
By Kat Bein
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
Dubbed "The Most Magnificent and Most Humble DJ on the Planet," Self Born is a South Side Chicago slab-slinger who has been spinning South Beach since 2004. His coming-out? The Opium Garden birthday bash for Kid Capri. It was the kind of gig that gives a cat instant pedigree, and Self Born was quick to exploit it. The next high-profile booking was another b-day bash, this time for Jermaine Dupri. Then there were pre- and post-VMA throwdowns for the likes of Damon Dash and Trick Daddy, a Memorial Day Weekend blowout with Diddy, and an LP-release party for Redman. Self Born even shared a throwback night with the legendary Red Alert.
But as tuned as he is to the urban soundscape, Self Born has also made moves in the worlds of fashion (parties for GQ, Vogue, and Elle at the Hotel Victor) and sports (everything from a Sports Club/LA mingler at the Four Seasons to Warren Sapp's retirement party at Nikki Marina). In fact Self Born traces his sports-spinning back to a 2003 party for the Chicago Bears, and he has been getting dizzy with dem Bears every year since.
Which begs the question: Why? Surely there are other DJs who can play the same kinds of classic grooves and get away without breaking too many beats. But owning a record isn't the same as using a record to own the night, and Self Born does nothing if not make each night his own. Perhaps that's why he scored a gig schooling young'uns at the South Beach branch of Scratch DJ Academy, or why Bella Rose just drafted him to handle its Fridays alongside DJ Dharma. It's certainly the reason Love Hate's Classic Sundays are still going strong after a full year of kickin' it.
Actually, the praises of Classic Sunday have been sung in New Times before, as has Self Born's work on local "Sneaker Store Terrorist" Rahsaan's "Fly Paper," a brand-new track that bridges the gap between Dana Dane's "Delancey Street" and Kendall Drive. Till now, though, we hadn't had a chance to fully get with the whole of Self Born's ethos: the basic belief that once you're out of the womb, life is on you. And yes, it is that simple.
DJ Self Born's current top five:
1. "I Wanna Rock with You," Michael Jackson
2. "Candy," Cameo
3. "Before I Let Go," Frankie Beverly and Maze
4. "I Got It Made," Special Ed