Though the art of spinning is only a few decades old, it still boasts some tried and true traditions. One of those traditions calls for the DJ to come up the old-fashioned way: carrying the crates and attending to the tracks of a more experienced head spinner. Until the one night comes when he or she, too, gets to step up to the tables and turn the beat around.
Many of our most reputable DJs have come up that way; it's a well-worn yet eminently respected path. And since it generally places the upstart in the best clubs, learning from the best to ever booth up, it's also a privileged position in which to be. And there's not one among the legions who've risen through the ranks in such a manner that isn't grateful for the opportunity.
Count DJ 360 among those legions. The Miami-born and -bred head spinner made his bones aiding and abetting no less a name than DJ Irie. His first crate-carry was into Opium Garden. From that night on, he stayed by his heavy-hitting mentor's side in virtually every hot spot with a dance floor. Then one hot Thursday at Cameo, the night's closing DJ never showed, and Irie handed over the tables to 360. The rest is the stuff from which careers are made.
DJ 360: Wednesdays at Dream, Miami Beach. Fridays at Klutch, Miami Beach; myspace.com/dj360music
In the five years or so since that night at Cameo, 360 has hit his own sequence of hot spots, including Mansion, B.E.D., Privé, LIV, and the Opium Hard Rock. Until the end of March, 360 was on the decks every Friday at Plunge. Now he's doing likewise at Klutch, and his Wednesdays are locked down at Dream.
As if that wasn't impressive enough, 360 has also earned himself an unofficial position with the folks at Poe Boy Music Group, where he's in on the label's much-trafficked mixtapes. Last year, he even spun the company's Flo Rida throwdown at Dolce, when every player in town was cheering the rapper's Roots LP.
But if 360 is unofficial at Poe Boy, he's nothing but official at Irie's Artist Related Group. And that puts him on a roster with every DJ from A-Train and Erok to Sandman and Vertigo. That also means when neither Irie nor Sandman can handle one of TAI Entertainment's noted fetes, 360 gets the call for that too.
Then again, when you spin the kind of rock-knocked hip-hop that keeps a body poppin' till the hours go wee, it's likely you'll get all kinds of calls. No, this ain't rocket science, but it does take a certain keenness. It's also instinctual, and if you don't have it in you from the get, you probably never will. Considering Irie gave 360 a shot at the top, it's pretty much a given the cat was born with the dizzy. What remains to be heard is just how delirious he'll make everybody in the many years to come.
DJ 360's current top five:
1. "Machuca," Lil Jon
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2. "Rude Boy," Rihanna
3. "Steady Mobbin'," Young Money
4. "Say Ahh," Trey Songz feat. Fabolous
5. "I'll Deliver," Maxamilli feat. Git Fresh