First, I must thank all hip-hop DJs. I thank you for your artistry, for sweeping dancers onto their feet and for transfixing audiences with your virtuosity. I thank you for your alchemy, for creating musical gold by mixing bits and pieces of song and sound in just the right measure. I thank you for your wisdom, for sharing your vast knowledge of music. This book is about you, and it is for you.
I mention many DJs in Groove Music, and I will start here by naming those I have been fortunate enough to interact with directly, whether by interviewing them, corresponding with them, hanging out with them, or all of the above. Some of these DJs are internationally famous, some are of more local renown, some come from the great cities of the United States, Europe, and Asia, and some from around the area known as the Research Triangle in North Carolina where I live. So let me take a deep breath, and say: A-Minor, A-Trak, Aladdin, Apollo, B-Side, Baby Dee, Afrika Bambaataa, Billy Jam, Bro-Rabb, Cash Money, Craze, Cutmaster Swift, Disco Wiz, Doc Rice, Food Stamp, GrandWizzard Theodore, Grandmixer DXT, Hapa, ie.MERG, Immortal, J.Dayz, Pete DJ Jones, Ken-One, Kid Koala, Killa-Jewel, King Britt, Kuttin Kandi, Kutzu, Maseo, Miyajima, Mista Donut, Neil Armstrong, 9th Wonder, P, Pone, Qbert, Quest, Radar, Revolution, Rhettmatic, Ivan “Doc” Rodriguez, Johnny “Juice” Rosado, Sarasa, Shadow, Shortkut, SK, SPCLGST, Steinski, Steve Dee, Swamp, Rob Swift, Ta-Shi, Tigerstyle, Trife, and Tyra from Saigon—I thank you for sharing your insights with me. There would be no Groove Music without you.
As central as DJs are to Groove Music, there are many others whose expertise informed and aided my work as well. I have been assisted by artists, filmmakers, and photographers; battle organizers, promoters, and entrepreneurs; engineers, producers, and a variety of other music industry professionals; scholars and journalists; archivists and librarians; and musicians of every stripe. (Some of these people—and damn them for being so multitalented—are DJs as well.)