All last week, DJ’s, Red Bull, and the folks who love them, gathered together for a week long world championship DJ competition in the beautiful city that is Chicago. 18 up and coming DJ’s from across the globe, and famous faces alike, performed to the masses for 5 dance filled days to see which DJ had the chops to be crowned The Red Bull Thre3Style World Championship DJ with a grand prize of $10,000. Tuesday through Friday were nights of pre-qualifying rounds. Four DJ’s would spin a night, leaving the audience with one winner for each evening. That winner would then go on to the Saturday night finals, along with two wild cards. There were only two rules…1. each DJ must use 3 different genres of music, and 2. in the words of the weeks host, Hollywood Holt, “they have to get the party crackin’!”.
After a weeks worth of rounds, the Saturday night finals were full of anticipation. The final competing DJ’s for the night were DJ Beam (Spain), DJ Nedu Lopes (Brazil), DJ Nicco (Jamaica), DJ Shub (Canada), DJ Drummer (Chile), and DJ Four Color Zack (USA). The crowd was warmed up with a set by Cosmo Baker, who was also acting as one of the judges for the week long event along with DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Skratch Bastid. The crowd was trickling in when Hollywood Holt stepped onto the stage to get the competition rolling. After explaining the rules and who would be performing, the crowd went nuts as the first DJ began.
Set after set provided many a memorable moment by each DJ. From DJ Four Color Zack slingin’ smack at DJ Shub, DJ Drummer throwing a little Frank Sinatra into the mix with “My Kind of Town (Chicago is)”, DJ Shub playing (my personal favorite) “7″ by Prince, or DJ Nedu Lopes showing off his more physical skill with the turntables. All in all, each contestant really turned it out for the night, leaving a major impression. But the more lasting imprint on our brains came from DJ Four Color Zack, who started out the night as the finals “wild card”, and ended up sweeping the competition to victory. He thanked his wife, Red Bull, and all in attendence for helping him get where he is today. After a bomb of confetti, and DJ Nedu Lopes (Silver) and DJ Drummer (Bronze) receiving their respective trophies, the energy level was high.
The party continued with a set from the ever popular ?uestlove. He kept the mood high with hits from Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, the theme song to The Jefferson’s, as well as a seamless transition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison”. Immediately following was THE DJ Jazzy Jeff. With a view of the Chicago skyline constantly rolling on the screen in the background, Jazzy Jeff did not disappoint. Ginuwine’s “Pony” really got the crowd wild, while The Fugees “Killing Me Softly” induced a massive sing-a-long by audience members and the DJ’s amongst them who just couldn’t help but join in.
Red Bull really pulled out every possible stop for this one. Constant dancing, constant singing, and a massive party every step of the way. So many walks of life all together under one roof to celebrate what we all love to do best…have a great time! Though all the DJ’s were unable to win the grand prize, their impressive skills, uplifting attitudes, and calm demeanor’s showed all in attendance, and the world, that we will surely hear from them soon.
Words by Parri Finister