Harlem DJ’s Part 1: DJ SNS by DJ Layne Luv #BlackMusicMonth
If you are reading this, you better know that in this lifetime, there is nothing like a Harlem DJ. Nothing! A Harlem DJ to music and like Miracle Whip to a fried bologna sandwich …. it just makes it better. But I didn’t really become a fan of this guy until about 2004. When Doug E. Fresh paid tribute to Kool Herc and DJ Hollywood at the VH1 2004 Hip Hop Honors, I was in awe. The set started out with Kid Rock (of which I had no clue Kid Rock could DJ) and then Doug said “SnS where ya at?” and all of the sudden you heard this melodic scratch of Chic’s “Le Freak”…and when he dropped “Awwwww Freak Out!” I went nuts in my living room. That day I became a fan of DJ S&S (he goes by SnS now)
To take you back, I was a Clue, Jazzy Joyce, Envy, Ron G and Kid Capri kinda dude. Those were the DJ tapes I bought back in the day. So I was not that familiar with S&S. But when I did my research on him, I found out he was killing the mixtape game in the 90’s and he was from Harlem. There was always one thing that fascinated me about a Harlem DJ…The Voice. The way the amplified the music..hell, they even made slow jams sound thuggy.
However, S&S claim to fame was that he got exclusive’s (new shit) on his mixtape early, like dumb early. You see this wasn’t the information super highway age to where a new song is released upon the world in a matter of seconds. Record store and radio stations had to wait in line just like everyone else to get new singles…but not the mixtape DJ..thanks to S&S. Sometimes he break a single one whole year before it was released by the industry.
According to our interview, the exclusive mixtape idea wasn’t his…he just took it too another level. Rumor has it that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg came to a NY club and SNS is DJing, and he had enough balls to give Snoop the mixtape. That’s when DJ’s started putting the playlist on the mixtape. Snoop looks at the mixtape and saw his unreleased single “What’s My Name?’’ Snoop holler’s at Dr. Dre and says, ‘He got ‘What’s My Name?’’ on tha tape. Dre and crew looked at S and said, ‘Who are you?!’ and we all laughs. They told SnS “We appreciate you” They took it real light…unlike Treach from Naughty by Nature that had SNS jumped for releasing Hip Hop Hooray too early.
The mixtape game back then was serious because DJ’s was getting money like drug money. Insiders would meet DJ’s in specific locations to exchange unreleased music from signed artists. It was definitely a love/hate thing. On one hand it was free promotion, on the other hand…it gave the streets a chance to shoot it down before marketing got to it.
Puffy had love for SnS, and then their relationship became strained after he put out a Total record too early…but Puffy was the same guy that had SNS break the Craig Mack joint Flava In Ya Ear.
For those that think being a party rock DJ is easy, let me break it down for you. There’s a science to all of it. You can’t just scream on the mic and be a party rock DJ. You have to say things that sound goofy….but also sound cool AF! at the same damn time. You have to be totally loose and in tune with the party crowd. One rule SNS goes by on his mixtapes is “The rule of talking on the mic was, never talk during the verse. The reason, people said that they hated when DJs talked is because niggas used to talk during the verse. Like, you’re riding in the car vibing, and a motherfucker starts shouting out niggas during a verse? So I just made sure I stayed with the hook, and during the verse, I’ll do like a ‘Yeah!’ or ‘Come on!’ to enhance your enjoyment. I’m hyping you, without messing up your ability to hear the artist’s verse. Then I’ll bring it back, like, ‘Oh, this record right here is crazy!! DJ S&S!! Come on!!’ I’m treating it like it’s a party, at all times. That’s how I always wanted it to be. That’s one thing I learned from Kid Capri and Brucie B…Always treat everything you do like it’s one big party. I want you to be groovin’ like you’re right there in front of me, and you’re watching me.”
In 2018 SNS is making his own music and it’s got the industry buzzin from Charlemagne The God to DJ Khaled. Songs like “Da Lean” and “Questions” got the clubs going from the Party Rock veteran.
From Cali To Harlem USA. For Black Music Month…WE SALUTE DJ SNS