“People say they love hip hop, but then they go to Guandii. To me, we’ve never had hip hop in China. We just took things from the States. It’s never been homegrown. And I really hope we can have a scene to call our own.”
Those are the words of one Gary Wang (aka DJ V-Nutz), local hip hop hustler and pusher. Wang, along with partner DJ Fortune, runs The Lab, a non-profit studio dedicated to furthering the scene through various events and initiatives. He is also the organizer of China’s DMC Championships, being held this year on Saturday, June 30, at 4 Live.
The DMCs are the premier event for DJs the world over. A kind of Oscars for the vinyl cutting crowd, if you will. Past champs have included Roc Raida, Plus One (of Scratch Perverts fame), the Rocksteady Crew and A-Trak; France’s Netik walked away with the honour last year. (Shanghaiist was rooting for Rafik from Lordz of Fitness but alas!)
Deck maestros are given three minutes each to scratch, juggle and cut their way into DJ history. Wang talks about advancing hip hop in China, and the DMCs are a good touchstone. DJing, after all, is one of the scene’s four pillars — MCing, breakdancing and graffiti (supposedly) round out the culture.
Over the years, Shanghaiist has seen the event in Canada, the UK and the Czech Republic — while turntablism in those countries are at varying degrees in their development, it’s safe to say that all are more advanced than here in China. Should be interesting to see what happens on the 30th when 16 DJs from as far as Inner Mongolia step up. Among the judges: DJ Coma of Japan, the DMC World Supremacy hotshot last year.
Glum are we, however, about the date of the event. Two of three upcoming !!!’s in our datebook — Cyantific next weekend being the third — fall on the same day. (Tangent: No dance party is complete without Myth Takes.) The Go! Team show is a must-do, to be sure, so timing will be everything that night. The 9:30pm start time at 4 Live, though, is really starting to make us fret…
DMC China Championships. Saturday, June 30. 4 Live (8 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Sinan Lu). RMB 50. Competition starts at 9:30pm. For the full interview with V-Nutz, and a more in-depth look at the event, see this month’s issue of Shanghai Talk.