Recap: DJ Jazzy Jeff at 330 Ritch
July 16, 2011
Forget you heard of the name DJ Jazzy Jeff for a moment. If you just walked up to a club while he was spinning, like he was last Friday night at 330 Ritch in San Francisco, and listened to him play records, you’d get the sense this guy not only’s been around for a long time, and has played records for a long time, but he knows the ins and outs of each cut and when to cut and blend them like it was originally meant to sound like so.
Jazz, of course the longtime partner of Will Smith, has emerged on his own right as a vanguard of classic hip-hop over the years and kept the flame burning, like he did Friday night, mixing plenty of hip-hop favorites with their original samples and making the cuts seem entirely seamless. His presence on the console is of such, professional and masterly, that it’s inconceivable he used to get thrown around by Uncle Phil on TV.
On Friday, he started the set with a nearly half-hour long tribute to hip-hop’s topic of the moment (thanks to the just-released documentary), A Tribe Called Quest. He later worked in tracks from some of the most memorable cuts from the past two decades (which happens to cover the childhoods of median age of the crowd) and added a few flourishes too. For instance, he showed off his beat juggling skills on the intro of Tribe’s “Check the Rhime” with nary a skipped beat. A deft moment came when cut bits of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” with Missy Elliot’s “Work It”.
For a finale, he brought out the two biggest rock hits of the 90’s and the 2000’s respectively, Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” and White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”, and the floor full of hip-hop heads nearly turned into a mosh pit if only the closing time lights didn’t come on.