On the hottest day of the year, when many in DC were seeking the solace of air conditioning or the local swimming pool, droves of people chose to brave the heat for a scorching hot performance at The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, marking the beginning of the 2010 Hip- Hop Theater Festival.
The opening night of the festival featured world renowned DJs I-DEE and DJ Rockin’ Rob, who showcased the old and new skool approaches to turntable artistry, hosted by DC’s own Kokayi.
DJ I-DEE spun the best in new skool, mixing, mashing, and blending from different genres, using a turntable that is run by laptop. DJ I-DEE is a showman in addition to his undeniable talent at scratching. Hyping the crowd into a frenzy of call and response, head noddin’, and singing along with new skool classics. The 21 year old DJ I-DEE is a force to be reckoned with. Practicing the art of turntablism professionally since the age of 19, he has already won some of the most prestigious DJ battles in the world, including DJ Battle for World Supremacy.
From the future to paying homage to architects of turntable culture, DJ Rockin’ Rob represented the best of old skool turntable acrobatics, using only 45 inch vinyl records to perform a set with a much different look and feel than that of DJ I-DEE. DJ Rockin’ Rob moved the crowd with a precision reserved for the likes of hip hop royalty like the Sugar Hill Gang. Mixing a blend of classic hip hop, soul hits, and b-side tracks to make a profound statement on relevancy of old skool to the future of hip hop and turn table artistry, DJ Rockin’ Rob closed out the show by bringing the standing room only crowd to their feet in flurry of applause.
DJ I-DEE and DJ Rockin’ Rob set the stage for the rest of the dynamic and exciting lineup of the 2010 Hip-Hop Theater Fest. To follow our coverage, click here.