Over To You: How To DJ Hip Hop With My Midi Controller

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 27 November, 2017


hip hop dj
Hip hop is one genre that’s clung on to turntable culture – but it needn’t be that way. What’s the best way to DJ hip hop on Midi controllers?

Reader Mike Maloney writes: “I have been mixing for four years now and I have always used Midi controllers. I have a Traktor Kontrol S4. I love all kinds of music, ranging from electro, hip hop and classical to dubstep. However, when I began to DJ, I focused mainly on electronic music. Electronic is my favourite genre to mix and I have had very successful gigs playing almost purely electronic sets. However, I was recently asked to take a break from my gigs by the general manager of the club I am a resident at. He said that girls have been asking for more hip hop, and that he wanted to give me a few weeks off because of it.

“This is alright with me, but I love hip hop! I just get baffled when I try to mix it. I would gladly inject some hip hop into my sets but I have no idea how to scratch, something that never interested me when I was focusing on electronic music. I also hate it when my transitions are sloppy, which when I make attempts with hip hop, is a common occurrence. If you could help me adapt and continue to do the thing I love I would really appreciate it!”

Digital DJ Tips says:

I have only limited experience of DJing hip hop, playing just a little in my current sundowner residency, where I mix it with reggae, soul, downtempo and nu-disco. This won’t help you, though, I suspect! All I’d really say is keep it simple. You don’t need to scratch. You don’t even need to mix. Clean cuts are the order of the day.

However, I am sure we have readers who are better placed to advise you, so I am going to pass this one along…

So, over to you. Can you help Mike to make this transition? Do you regularly DJ hip hop, having switched from another genre? What did you find helped you? Please add your advice in the comments.

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