The Art of DJing and Turntablism: DMC 2023 US DJ Battle


The world of DJing and turntablism is still a dynamic and vibrant culture within the foundation of music, characterized by innovation, skill, and a deep appreciation for the art of mixing and scratching. My introduction was listening to the early mixtapes of GrandMaster Caz, the Cold Crush Brothers, Dj Charlie Chase or Grandmaster Flash in the early 80’s as a middle school student. One of the pinnacle events that celebrates this art form is the DMC World DJ Championships, and in particular, the 2023 Technics DMC USA DJ Finals. This article explores the essence of DJing and turntablism, the significance of the DMC competitions, and the excitement surrounding the DMC 2023 US DJ Battle. As we travel from my hood to your hood. 

The Evolution of DJing and Turntablism

DJing, often considered the backbone of hip-hop culture, has evolved from simply playing records to an intricate form of artistic expression. Turntablism, a term coined in the 1990s, emphasizes the manipulation of records and the turntable as a musical instrument. DJs use turntables to create rhythmic patterns, scratches, and mixes, turning ordinary vinyl records into instruments of creativity.

The DMC World DJ Championships

The DMC (Disco Mix Club) World DJ Championships have been at the forefront of promoting DJ and turntablist culture since their inception in 1985. These competitions have become the largest and most renowned turntablism events globally, showcasing the skill and creativity of DJs from around the world. The DMC battles have birthed legendary DJs who have gone on to become industry icons, leaving an indelible mark on the art form.

The 2023 Technics DMC USA DJ Finals

The collaboration between Rock the Bells, Technics, and DMC World DJ Championships for the 2023 Technics DMC USA DJ Finals signifies a triumphant return to live competitions after a period of online battles due to the pandemic. This event serves as the grand finale of an extensive regional tour across the United States, bringing together the regional champions and runners-up to compete for the prestigious DMC US title.

The Competitors

Finally, after watching the likes of DJ Cash Money(who was definitely in the building) on various platforms over the years checked my bucket list to attend the 2023 DMC regional champions, held in NYC at Racket NYC, including DJ Chris Kuts, DJ Ever Lee, TheKidRC3, DJ Essential, DJ SpareChange, and DJ Xist, they showcase the new diverse talent within the turntablism community. Additionally, the runners-up from each region, such as DJ Divine Justice, DJ NuEra, Knockers, The Beat Molester, DJ Notch, and DJ Albert Balestrieri, add further excitement and competitiveness to the event. The reigning 2022 DMC US Champion, DJ Perly, did a competitive set and adds an element of suspense as the question of whether she will defend her title looms.

The Judges and Host

The DMC 2023 US DJ Battle brings together esteemed DJs from both the East and West coasts, who will not only perform but also judge the competition. Invisibl Skratch Piklz members Shortkut, D-Styles, and DJ Qbert, representing the Bay Area, whom I got a chance to see walking around prior to the show and Mista Sinista, DJ Boogie Blind, and Precision from NYC also contributed their expertise. The legendary MC, producer, and DJ Lord Finesse (DITC) and DJ Russell Peters added an extra layer of charisma as the hosts of the battle.

The Experience

The DMC USA DJ Finals was an electrifying experience for attendees of all ages. The battle routines, lasting 6 minutes each, captivated the audience and challenge the judges’ discerning ears. Solo and crew performances provided a diverse showcase of turntablism techniques and styles. The top three DJs where announced at the end of the evening, receiving prizes generously provided by sponsors.


The DMC 2023 US DJ Battle is not only a competition but a celebration of the artistry, dedication, and innovation within the world of DJing and turntablism. As the event showcases the talents of regional champions, runners-up, and established legends, it serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of this captivating art form. The collaboration between Rock the Bells, Technics, and DMC World DJ Championships elevates the significance of the competition and underscores its role in advancing the art of turntablism and inspiring practitioners worldwide.