Twice a week I am a DJ in Manhattan. I work for a company that owns several sports bars around the city, and while their operation is exceptionally, impressively tight, they’re still operating sports bars. There are a couple that stick to the traditional rock-and-roll aesthetic, and I don’t do well with them. But my Thursday place is wise to their neighborhood and they’ll tolerate hip hop. They’ll tolerate it.
But not too much. Seems that at least once per set, my manager calls me in the booth and asks me to transition back into “sing-along stuff.” But tonight I leaned ghetto and they went with me. The crowd was happy and I felt wonderful.
On my way out, I said goodbye to the bartender in charge (and collected my check, naturally). He told me he liked what I did tonight—my heart leapt!—because the crowd was shit and I was playing to them. My heart sank.
I said that if it were up to me, that sort of thing is all I would play.
And I went home.