Tuesday, January 5, 2010


his week, instead of spotlighting a particular event (or events); I’ve decided to spotlight a local DJ who is making moves and working (like ourselves) to grow exposure to and show support of, our fellow DMV’ers.

Though DJ Beanz is originally from Boston (which you should be able to figure out the moment you speak with her), she credits the unity amongst the artists in this area as her reason for staying around. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves so let me start from the beginning.

Back in Boston, she had immersed herself in hip-hop from an early age, listening to greats such as Grandmaster Flash, Roc Raida, and Tony Touch. Then in ‘99 she had an opportunity to move to Florida, taking a job promoting shows. And while hip-hop was what she knew, being in Florida, there was a large drum and bass scene and she took the opportunity during her free time to mess around on the turntables and essentially teach herself how to DJ. She would get her chance when, as she puts it, she “was thrown out there in front of a crowd where no one was dancing.” Well, they weren’t dancing, but by the time she looked up as her set ending, everyone was on their feet moving and she knew she’d found her calling.

Fast-forward 3-4 years later and another opportunity came a knocking. This wasn’t a music opportunity but an opportunity nonetheless when she was afforded the chance to assist in the opening of a local DC metro area restaurant. The plan was to stay for 5 months, but as luck would have it she’s been here ever since. The reason?

The people.

It came as no surprise that she gravitated towards the music scene after moving here, but in particular the burgeoning hip-hop arena that had for so long been overshadowed by DC’s own invention and contribution, Go-Go. Hanging around in some of the lounges and open mics allowed her to hone her craft and also meet some of the regional celebrities of the underground. Through her interactions, the thing she began notice (and that ultimately led her to finally call DC home) was the unity amongst the various artists. It’s as if an “us against the world” mentality has developed as a result of DC being overlooked. Wale gets most of the credit for being the first breakout artist to gain major national (and international) popularity but the foundation for his success were laid long ago. This unity amongst the artists here should allow them to show the rest of the country that he isn’t the only one with skills from DC, VA, and MD.

DJ Beanz just recently released a mixtape called DMV Disciples Vol. 1, (on Topp Dogg Hill Records) which she put together as a way for her to be able to showcase the talents of some of the other artists from the DMV and it’s available for FREE DOWNLOAD (or you can Listen Here) now. In the works currently are a couple of other mixtapes as well. One with local artist Midian, who has a range of styles from R&B to Soul to Rock and more. Also, an all-female mixtape entitled, “District Divas” which should be out shortly. Other artists in the Topp Dogg Hill camp that you should look out for include (CEO & Owner of Topp Dogg Art Studio) Infa Redz, Whitefolkz, and Mo Betta. Make sure to check out the websites, grab the free mixtape, and if you want to reach DJ Beanz for information or booking, she is a member of the Fleet DJs, or you can follow her on Twitter @HollaAtBeanZ. DMV, support your own!

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