Jean Grae, Donwill Troll Instagram’s New Guidelines in “Instagram-Approved DJ Set”

Many DJs are switching platforms after Instagram began cracking down.

Ever since the beginning of shelter-in-place ordinances, DJs have taken to Instagram to capitalize on listeners’ time at home. After weeks of thrilling quarantine sets, the platform stepped in recently. Unintentionally, the new guidelines inspired a new set of their own.

On Monday, Brooklyn MCs Jean Grae and Donwill of Tanya Morgan hosted the “first-ever Instagram-approved DJ set.” The artists used music from the platform’s generic music and sound effect library. On Wednesday, they spoke with Page Six about the set.

“There was this reggae song with fake patois [and] accents,” Donwill said. “And an Azealia Banks knockoff. There was a baby crying…footsteps of a person walking…it’s music that’s perfect if you’re scoring a video, but not for people to listen to and dance to. Why would you recommend [DJs] use this material to play at a party?”

The platform permits users to play short clips of songs. On Wednesday, the platform advised users to play shorter clips of the music to avoid flagging. However, DJs and artists are currently playing longer segments during longer-than-usual sets.

The hour-long set is available to stream on Instagram TV.

“A lot of us have no gigs, no incomes,” Donwill continued. “We’re not being paid. We’re just playing music for people out of work, who are stressed out and on social media anyway. Why not have something to ease the tension?”


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Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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Torry Threadcraft

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