Are DJs Still Playing Kanye West’s Music?


“Most of my sets I don’t play Kanye West, not because of personal reasons but because his music doesn’t fit the type of parties I play. The music scene moves very fast, new songs are coming out every day and most people want to listen to the latest tracks from the new and hot rappers these days and he’s not considered that cool rapper anymore.

“Although his platform does come with more responsibilities than most people, he is still entitled to his opinions. If his actions start becoming abusive then I would not play his music. I don’t play any X or Tadoe now because of their past abusive actions towards women. I would play ‘Lift Yourself’ as a troll move for fun though, poopity scoop is hard and has potential to be a viral dance sensation.

“I haven’t heard many people play Kanye these days besides poopityscoop and people seem to either laugh or shake their heads. It’s definitely a conversation starter when the song comes on. Things have changed because I remember when TLOP came out every one would be so turnt when ‘Father Stretch My Hands’ or ‘Famous’ came on the speakers. I don’t think it would be the same reaction now, because he represents poorly for his people.

“It doesn’t really change the way I react to hearing his music, Kanye lowkey has always been crazy but I love that artistic craziness and passion about him. His tweets about slavery, Trump—those are all still opinions and it’s up to us to stay woke and not be swayed by celebrities. There is a difference between his new and old music but I think a part of it is because he doesn’t have his ghostwriters any more so his lyricism is not at the high level as it used to be. And he’s not trying to make it in the industry anymore since he’s already established so his new songs are more of a publicity/marketing stunt.”

DJ Evil One

Twitter: @djevilone

“I was playing at a bar I own called Fortune and it’s a pretty hip-hop oriented crowd, but you can get pretty loose. Super diverse. Young and old. I’ve always played a lot of Kanye, and not just the obvious hits. Cudi collabos, ‘Stay Up (Viagra),’ etc. I played ‘Gold Digger’ earlier in the night, it did okay, but not the usual hype. Then I followed it up with YG’s ‘FDT’ and the place went bananas. I usually play ‘Good Life,’ ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothin,’ and a lot of other 80 BPM throwbacks to keep it interesting, so I’m thinking, ‘Let’s see how this works. I always drop it cold on the la, la, la, la,’ which always gets people going, but instead people instantly were like, ‘Oh hell no.’ Instant thumb across the throat. People were telling me to cut it.

“People were pissed. I’ve never had a record bomb to that degree. The whole room hated me. Shit was crazy. It took me a while to mentally recover even though I knew it was a risk. I’ll probably wait and see if he comes out and says this was all some sort of a joke, but even then this whole thing is kinda wack.”

Matt FX

Image via Duy Nguyen


“It really would depends on the party, but I definitely am not going to completely stop playing Kanye. I actually dropped a pair of Ye tunes last night—I was playing this really strange mansion party across from the Met Ball with a super diverse crowd. Everything from under 30 cool kids to distinguished older women in ballgowns and like super duper old couples walking around with canes. Apparently Grand Master Flash was in the building too. I was actually super curious to see how Kanye would go off so dropped ‘Gold Digger’ and then ‘Lift Yourself’ a few songs later. Believe it or not, they both went off, with ‘Lift Yourself’ probably going twice as hard. People genuinely went wild for it.

“First off, the only music I’m going to judge because of his current state of mind is the music that is coming out now. As many of us mourn a previous incarnation of Kanye, I actually think glorifying that music is somewhat of a tribute to that time and place. Just because he’s turned into a wackjob doesn’t mean we can’t still praise his classics—it’s not like the dude has been keeping a secret brothel of sex slaves. He’s just saying provocative stupid shit. So yeah, huge difference. Second off, I’m actually going to reserve most of my judgment until the full album drops. I didn’t really fuck with the tune he made with Tip but I really do love ‘Lift Yourself.’ Maybe it’s the prankster in me, but I just love everything about that song.”

Wells P

Twitter: @Wells_P

“I was at a club in Santa Monica recently on Cinco De Mayo night. It was a younger crowd, college age. The DJ who was playing went from Bobby Shmurda’s ‘Hot Ni***a’ into ‘Father Stretch My Hands’ and literally right after the chorus, 20 or so people in the middle booed. The DJ got out of it before his first verse. I was surprised just because the crowd was like 90% white kids. I think Kanye club music is over for the time being. Maybe by summer this will all subside, but I know I’m not playing his music anytime soon. I played heavy Kanye in all my sets. Big room, small room, everywhere. But I’m not playing any more Kanye until I feel that he’s 1. Gotten help 2. Apologizes to all of the people he’s insulted.”

Tha Yell0w R KEL


“This has been a huge topic for me personally the past couple weeks, one that has a ton of replay value in my circles of conversation. As DJs, should we play it? The short answer is… no, I don’t play Kanye anymore, but I want to. I have some fire blends with his music that gets me from genre to genre, a lower BPM to higher BPM, call and response tricks.

“The day Kanye dropped the pic of the signed MAGA hat, the internet was set ablaze. I had a DJ set with a friend at an esteemed bar in Williamsburg that same night, a bar that I have a monthly residency at and have DJed with for years, so I consider myself like extended family. Because of people’s harsh reactions to Kanye, Blue (the other billed DJ) and I thought it would be funny to troll IRL and play a little more Kanye than normal. Over the course of a five-hour night, we probably played about 15-20 Kanye songs. Pretty standard numbers if you ask me!

“At the end of the night, we make our rounds saying our goodbyes to the bar staff, security, etc. One bar man who has tended the bar at many of my parties took me by surprise when he looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Your set was trash tonight—I usually like you and Blue but you guys didn’t have to play all that Kanye. Tonight was trash.’

“I wasn’t trying to, but I let what he said affect me personally and really made me think about the repercussions of blindly—or in our case, ironically—playing music by a figure so problematic. Kanye’s actions and statements definitely make me think of his lyrics and what he’s saying differently. To me, listening to his old music reminds me of the ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people’ Kanye, and his new music reminds me of ‘Slavery was a choice.’ I can get behind and support the former, and vehemently resent the latter.”

DJ Mike Nasty

Photo by @antbluejr


“I’ve honestly let a few classic Kanye records fly in my most recent sets, but mixing the songs into my sets were kind of second nature. As much as I disagree with what Ye has been saying in the media lately, his discography has made an impact on so many people’s lives in such a positive way. A lot of his songs provide that feel-good factor needed in nightlife. We don’t necessarily get that feeling all the time with the new music being made today. So many great individuals have contributed to Kanye’s music as well. John Legend, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Common—the list is extensive.

“The reaction from the audience is the same as it’s always been. Nobody shows a negative reaction from what I’ve seen. I’m not over-playing Kanye records either. It’ll be like one or two records within the night.

“I’ll say that Kanye’s recent actions have changed the way I listen to the new music he has released and will make me be a lot more conscious of how I listen to his upcoming releases. It’s definitely a difference in the way I listen to his old and new music. As an artist progresses in the industry and becomes older, the subject matter always tends to change. My favorite Kanye album is Late Registration. The things he rapped about then are a lot more relatable to me than what he raps about now.”

source: complex

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