BETTER SKILLS REALLY CAN HELP YOUR “SWAG”
One of the things that I hear from a lot of schools is that the DJ was cheesy. By cheesy, I mean real bad interaction. When I look at what the DJ did, as many videos can be found on YouTube or from the school’s media team themselves, I don’t see anything too bad. As a matter of fact, some of these interactive bits are similar to mine. So what made the “cheesy” DJs different? By way of an answer, let’s talk a little bit street here: Homeboy had no swag. Let’s face it, high schoolers have the BEST B.S. detectors on the market today. They know when you need to be on blast and when you need trashed.
ARE YOU HYPE-CHALLENGED? A CHECKLIST
Does this mean YOU need to be young, cool, and hip to pull off an amazing dance with edgy interaction? No! What this means is that you need to find your own swag. What is your comfort level? First, let’s explore some basic things that can put a cramp on your swag: 1) Age. It ain’t nothing but a number, but if you come in with a white beard and go
“Sup homies”? you’re going to look like a thug Santa. Not cool. Shaving takes YEARS off someone, and so does a bit of hair dye, if you feel so inclined.
2) Clothing. Sorry, only P. Diddy can pull off a tux and still look like a pimp. However, even the flyest of starts lose the tie once they’re behind the ones and twos. My clients understand that a DJ is just that: A DJ and the roadies are just that. Our dress code should be appropriate to such roles. You’ll hardly see me in anything more than a nice pair of jeans and a button up club-stye shirt, and quite a bit of bling. Very edgy, but still prim and proper. Hair is well-groomed and facial hair is nothing short of a clean edge cut. Don’t think that screams “professional?” Well, if you picked THE DAY OF to establish rapport as a pro, you’re doing this whole business all wrong. That’s a fact! My roadies wear a staff shirt, and plain-color jeans with black shoes. This is no different than a concert. We are performers and have our own costumes for such. ALWAYS check with your client to make sure they OK it. It’s not hard to do at all and many don’t even care what you wear. I had one tell me I could wear anything except a MEAT DRESS (a great Lady Gaga joke).
3) No Giveaways. It’s much easier to say “HEY” when that’s followed up with “…FREE STUFF!” Consider glowsticks, a cheap item, to give you a good reason to get on the mic. 4) MC Voice. You are NO LONGER an MC. You are a HYPEMAN. Forget the prim and proper methods you learned and go back to your college karaoke days… have fun on the mic! You are DA MAN! ACT LIKE IT! Put these four items into some major brainstorming and you?re on your way. CHECK YOUR SKILLS Now let’s discuss different types of hyping… 1) Roll Call. By far the easiest and most commonly used:”Seniors! Where are you at?” ‘Juniors’? Etc. At homecomings, I will find out if the seniors or freshmen are the loudest and always end with that group. I want the energy to go up! Consider some basic roll calls too. When I get ready to bust out a Latin or Jamaican set I always do a shoutout to my Latinos or Islanders. Be very careful with this…I’ve even done a shoutout to “my white people” but you gotta be REALLY comfortable with this! How about a shoutout to the ROTC or basketball or football team? Don’t forget class numbers, too: “2012! 2013!” There’s so much to do besides “SENIORS!” 2) Song Intros. DO NOT CASEY KASEM them! Ya”ll gotta come up to the front and teach me how to dougie! Wait for the screams.. and here’s where you can combine this with a roll call shoutout: “Naw, for real, who knows how to Dougie? Seniors? Juniors?” Or you could play “Sexy and I Know It” and drop in “yo yo yo, who feelin” sexy tonight?” These keep the energy way up the entire night and that’s the ultimate goal! 3) Call and Response. This is similar to a roll call: You shout something, they shout back! Do you know any good chants? My favorite is “Everybody / lay it down / come on and represent your town / tell me where you from” to which they immediately finish the phrase! Think of the old school classics “Hold Up!” “Wait a Minute.” Use them to introduce songs, too! “Ok ok ok, ya’ll gotta finish this for me: “YA’LL GON’ MAKE ME LOSE MY MIND…” As they shout “UP IN HERE” you slam in the song. BAM! 4) Chant and Riot. That’s right, make them go bonkers! In the middle of a hype 126+ BPM song, start chanting: “SENIORS! SENIORS! SENIORS!” and watch the place erupt! 5) Hand Gestures. Not those kind… but don’t be afraid to shout the usual “Put your hands in the air!” Consider telling them to fist pump, hands up high and clap with it, thunderclap, hands up and count down from 5-4-3-2-1 (mix in the next song). And there you go, there’s a lot more that you can do, but this is a great starter set that will carry you through many dances. Remember that step one is to be confident and gain that swag! They may not respond at first, but don’t let it deter you. However, if you feel goofy doing this, then you’re giving off a goofball appeal. Look for other DJ’s gig logs and see if they have any videos of MCing. (Yours truly does, including a how-to.) Remember your job is to keep the energy high at all songs. Every song should lead to a scream, either from how good the song choice was or from your amazing hyping. Believe me, it pays to be a hypeman…This is my #1 reason why our clients call back every year! Plus, did you know that hyping equals less grinding? The higher the energy, they more they’ll have their hands up or the more jumping they will do. Hypemen are important, even the best of performers have them! MB
Filed Under: Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #140
Leave a comment