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June 09, 2017

5 worst things you could say to a DJ

'Can you play, um..?' Admit it, you've been there

Entertainment DJs
Rich Medina submitted photo/for PhillyVoice

Rich Medina featured in esteemed record collecting book "Dust and Grooves."

Philadelphia’s Rich Medina is a deejay’s DJ. He plays the tracks you know and love and tracks you never knew you loved, while effortlessly balancing a DJ's duty to entertain and educate crowds.

Rich is known around the world for unearthing rare selections spanning afrobeat, house, hip-hop, and soul. Rich’s tastemaking selections have cemented him as one of the most in-demand DJs out there, capable of turning any type of crowd into a frenzy.

Whether he's playing on the east coast at HOME, his homage to the legendary Paradise Garage, or overseas in London playing festivals alongside the likes of house legends Masters at Work, Rich knows his way around the DJ booth and has dodged countless ill-advised drunken requests with style and grace. 

Ahead of his Sunday gig at Brooklyn’s Output with Timmy Regisford, we caught up with Rich to find out what are...The 5 worst things you could say to a DJ?

1. Can you play something I can dance to?

Answer: Yes. That's my occupation. The question is, can you go dance and let me work? Or are you saying that the bass and high frequencies in certain songs actually help you dance on beat...and you need me to play those songs, so you can find your rhythm? If so, that could mean you have a condition beyond my medical and sonic I'm gonna go with a big fat "NO" on this one...have two more cocktails, enjoy the rest of your night, and don't call me in the morning...or ever, actually...deuces...

2. When are you gonna play (insert artist, genre, song, repeat)?

Answer: I'm not. Ever. I'm actually gonna bounce in, like, 10 minutes. The real DJ will be here and help you out soon as I'm gone. I don't have ANY (insert artist, genre, song, repeat) with me. It's all on my other computer, which has a virus, so I left it home in consideration of you and your health…you're welcome, honey... 
submitted photo/for PhillyVoice

Rich Medina at Philadelphia party institution Sundae, responding to a presumably bad request.


3. Mouthing words with no sound, with a screw face on:

Answer: Hand them your headphones, point at your mixer and mouth back silently "Please help me, I'm so lost" with a look of horror in your eyes. When they begin to enter the booth, exaggeratedly mouth "thank you so much," put on your jacket, and push your way through the crowd with the same fearful look on your face, and wait. Re-enter the room only when the song ends (with them standing in the booth still, lost), take back your headphones, pick up the mic, and say "what happened?" While pointing at the person...the karma gods will work the rest out...

4. What kind of music is this?

Answer: Refer to your ready-made list of responses in your smart phone, carefully select your genre of choice, and show them the note with the "what kinda dumb ass question is that?" face on. Take the next 30 seconds to let everyone in eyesight in on the joke...put your phone back in your pocket, and play deaf until they get tired of talking to themselves. 
submitted photo/for PhillyVoice

Rich Medina on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide FM.


5. What DJ doesn't have (insert artist name, song, genre, style)?

Answer: Say "me?...well, we've already established the fact that I suck, so there's that..." then, stare at them with your face at rest...respond verbally to nothing they say...just stare...kindly... until they blink, or give up on you... because you don't have any dub tech rock hop boogie funky baseline wobble crunk hits on ice in your bag tonight…

There we have it – trusted words from one of the best in the business. Next time you see someone headed to the DJ booth with an ill-advised look on their face, do the DJ and the entire party a favor by stopping in them their tracks.

Catch Rich Medina spinning at a dancefloor near you:

Sunday, June 11th – Output, Brooklyn: Shelter & Afropunk Together with Timmy Regisford & Rich Medina

Saturday, June 24th – C’Mon Everybody, Brooklyn: HOME 2 Year Anniversary

Friday, June 30th – Silk City, Philadelphia: HOME