“They’re pourin syrup on shit and callin it pancakes, everyones bitin into it” -DJP. It was damn good to talk to Danny Phillips again. It’s been over ten years since I had seen or spoken to my favorite DJ, so I hit him up. He still has a slight country twang that oddly no one else who grew up in Springfield Missouri seemed to have, but it was just another thing that made him unique. Danny started spinning in the sixth grade. By the time I went to college in Springfield he was spinning with my cousin Bryan’s band Slugworth and smashing every worthy club night in the area. Always happy to take a club owner’s money he played out a lot but often felt he had to water down his sets (see the above quote). Back then if you wanted to hear DJP throw down for real we would to hit the after hours/house party’s, today you can buy his albums (click the above image to visit DJPmix.com for more info).
I always assumed he was a little older than me but it was hard to tell because he didn’t drink. I never asked, it didn’t matter, all I knew was his artistic ability was way beyond this town, but his attitude wasn’t. He played house party’s for free all the time because he loved to rock a crowd that’s what he does. When Danny or Henry Navarro (another Springfield party favorite) played your house party you were guaranteed to wake up the next day with a pocket full of keg money, broken shit in your house, and a bigger smile on your face than any one else in town. DJP was the first person I ever saw transform live, phasing, mixing, genre-blending and cuts like a samurai. He would go through a whole crate of records like he was throwing ninja stars, you couldn’t help but have the time of your life when he was spinnin. I’ve been to a million concert and battles and to this day I’ve never seen anyone rock the decks like he does… people were starting notice that too.
In 98 he came in second at the DMC Midwest Championship in Lawrence, Kansas and returned the next year to take the crown. That win sent him on to the DMC US finals in San Francisco were he received a standing ovation after busting out windmills in front on his turntables during his last record. This was the beginning of his journey around the world shattering people’s preconceived notions of what a DJ and a B-boy was. Here’s his Regional championship performance See what I’m sayin? A next level artist. As a pioneer of genre blending (he hates the term mash-up) he doesn’t like to focus on one thing because he gets bored. Danny mixes music period. Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz, 80′s it doesn’t matter, if he likes it he will rock your bells with it. While electrifying the DMC circuit that year his raw talent for live mixing along with his showmanship was noticed by DMC Rep. Christie Z. Christie was later contacted by MTV looking for a DJ who could tour. She told MTV’s people they needed check out DJP and she arranged a meeting in Carson City, Nevada where Danny showed and proved his skills. After the meeting Christie was the office hero and Danny was booked on the 1999 MTV Campus Invasion Tour with Garbage and Lit.
In 2000 his first full length album of live mixing without computers or drops was called ”Uneasy Listening Vol. 1“. It was put out in a limited press of 1000 copies and was the definition of an underground smash. Even making its way all the way to England, where it was bootlegged onto vinyl. Later Rolling Stone magazine called it one of the best musical moment’s of 2002. Their timing was a little off (2 years…amateurs) but they still recognized. In ’03 Danny got his biggest gig yet opening for 311 on their national tour. Here’s some magic from that tour. Check out Danny tearing down the House of Blues and melting musical boundaries and notice there are no computers on the stage. The national exposure landed him his first Vegas gig at Studio 54. One night while hanging out with Frankie the club’s musical director, Frankie asked “Hey do you want to go to Mr. Freeze’s birthday party?”. “Rock Steady Crew Mr. Freeze? Hell yeah!” he replies. So Frankie ends up booking DJP for the event. Half way through his set Mr. Freeze approaches the booth and tells Danny “What you’re doing I’ve never seen before, you are hands down my favorite DJ”. Holy Shit did that just happen? Our hometown hero wasn’t dreaming. After the set they kicked it the rest of the night. Shortly after, he’s booked at underground Vegas hotspot Taboo Ultra Lounge.
During his usual crowd rockin set he notices his homie Mr. Freeze accompanied by Rock Steady legend Crazy Legs, who gives him a wave from the floor so Danny naturally turns up his B-boy Style to 11 and the Rock Steady Crew do their thing. After an insane break session the two legends approach the booth and say “Yo , come with us man it’s O.K just stop the music”, you can do that when you’re in Rock Steady Crew. The music stops and Freeze and Legs take Danny to the middle of the floor and announce him as the newest member of the Almighty Rock Steady Crew and ask if he would represent them as their official DJ. BOOM it’s like that, DJP official Rock Steady DJ since 06.
With the RSC and various promoters around town constantly asking him to move to Vegas, followed by an offer from the MGM Grand for their residency spot and with a steady paycheck, Danny packed it up and headed to the desert’s neon oasis. His first year in Sin City was spent at the MGM Grand, then to infamous Palms Resort as resident at the one and only Playboy club for the next 2 years, does it get any hotter than that? He didn’t go into much detail about his time there but he wasn’t pushing play on the Poison CD down at the Strechmark Palace ya’ know?
In ’09 he decided he had done 4 hot years in Vegas and wanted to get back to some peace and quiet and some more familiar people so he returned to Springfield to take a break. He still is doing bookings for select projects and returned to the MGM Grand last August to spin at the Ultimate B-boy Championship and represent with the Rock Steady Crew. Recently Danny has starting spinning locally again doing weekends at Club Vegas in Springfield to ecstatic crowds, happy to see their boy home again. He also just released a Micheal Jackson mix album that I’m sure will have the King of Pop poppin and lockin in his grave. Danny has several mixtapes and albums available to purchase at djpmix.com (click 1st image) including “Uneasy Listening Vol.1“ and the “Hell on Wheels” series. In these days of new technology that sometimes can push talent aside, I’ll take a true musician who approaches the turntables as an instrument 8-days a week. Long live turntablism, B-Boys/Girls and thank you D.J.P. —’ Till the break of dawn – Sikboy