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Grand Wizzard Theodore (Scratch History Lecture) at The New School with DJ Rob Swift

DJ Rob Swift from the legendary DJ crew The X-Ecutioners teaches a class at The New School in New York City. The class is called DJ Skills & Styles and introduces students to the art of DJing with the fundamentals of mixing, scratching, and beat juggling. On September 30, 2015, Rob Swift brought in a special guest, Grand Wizzard Theodore, to educate his students on the history of the DJ techniques they’ve been learning. Theodore is the man who accidentally invented the DJ scratch at 12 years old in 1975 when his mother burst into his room as he was recording a cassette tape. In this lecture filmed by TheBeeShine, Theodore describes the Bronx in the 1970s and what kind of personality his mother had that shaped the person he’s become today. He talks about the popularity of the break beats from James Brown records and others that everyone would dance to and how he developed what is now known as the “needle drop” by replaying the break beat part of the record at parties. Theodore describes the influence to DJ by his older brother Mean Gene and friend Grandmaster Flash. Towards the end of the lecture, Theodore demonstrates the baby scratch from the exact part of Apache’s record “Incredible Bongo Band” during the moment that his mother walked in. Check out the lecture and leave a comment.

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