Author Archives: izzy

Sometimes You Find Gold in the Ghetto … Division, That Is…

It isn’t often that great music reaches out to a community and is successful.  Ghetto Division, a label and production crew of young aspiring DJs from the South side of Chicago, who are changing the club scene around the world.  Ghetto Division hosts events that bring people of all ages together and creates a place for its young to call home.  They have had the privilege of hosting events at Smart Bar, the Metro and many other popular Chicago hot spots.  Ghetto Division has many loyal fans that come out to all their events and represent Chicago’s finest DJs.

Ghetto Division consists of DJs Charlie Glitch, M-Dok, Moonman, Rob Threezy, Rampage, Maddjazz, Lorenzo Vektor, D-51, Sigma and Louie Cue.  Ghetto Division has worked in production with Ghetto Division Records, Mad Decent, Nightshifters, Idiot House, and T & A.  Because of their ability in spinning all kinds of music, such as house, juke, ghettotech, bassline, heavy house, rave, dubstep, techno, Ghetto Division has been fortunate to reach many different crowds.  They have even had the experience of DJing events out of Chicago and the country; they have DJ’ed events in Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico.

Ghetto Division first began in Hot Jams, a record store located in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood.  The future Ghetto Division DJs would meet up and work on music all day, everyday in order to be at their best for local events hosted on weekends.  As time progressed, their tracks were gaining a lot of positive public attention.  Front man, Charlie Glitch knew they had great potential and didn’t want to lose track of any of the talent.  So Glitch decided they should become a crew.  The crew hoped that they would be recognized as a strong, versatile crew with a variety of musical influence and knowledge that completes their sound.

Ghetto Division’s DJ Charlie Glitch was born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.  DJ Glitch was first introduced to DJing at the age of 12 by his father who was also a house DJ too.   DJ Charlie Glitch was born the minute his father taught him how to put a record on a turntable and he never looked back.  Since then, Glitch started getting gigs at house parties, underground events, and even started producing with Hot Jams at the age of 19.

So far, Ghetto Division has had a positive effect on the community by bringing youth together at events and showing more than the traditional gang lifestyle that surrounds Chicago’s streets.  While many of the DJs agree that education is important, they also agree that when you are successful at something, like influencing the community, you can get hooked. But they do aspire to complete their educational careers.

Because of their positive influence, the DJs of Ghetto Division have said that the task of managing school and their music production can be a struggle.  Some of the DJs had to put their education on pause just to advance in the competing music world.  Sometimes when you’re gifted at what you do, you have to follow those dreams, and hope that it is the right decision.

Last summer, Ghetto Division lost one of its members, Jeff A. Maldonado a.k.a. J-Def.  On July 25, 2009, J-Def was tragically shot and killed, a day after his 19th birthday, in the Pilsen neighborhood.  J-Def, who was a student at Harold Washington College, was passionate about graffiti art and music.  J-Def did not stand for gang violence and it was unfortunate that gang violence lead to his death.  Ghetto Division learned from J-Def’s misfortune and turned it into a positive example for the Pilsen community to fight against gang violence.  Because of incidents like this, Ghetto Division makes sure they’re accessible to the youth in the community.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=6935823

Even though a traditional education isn’t dominant within Ghetto Division, they still believe education is important.  They hold free DJ and production lessons for the community and stream a live radio show every Friday on restrictedradio.com from 4 PM to 10 PM.  Ghetto Division does this because they feel it is important to get the youth out of the streets and involved, since the South side of Chicago is notorious for violence.  As DJ Charlie Glitch says, “It’s important to get them involved in something they deem important, and why not have fun while learning?”

Ghetto Division is currently working on their label and planning tours.  Their upcoming tours range from around the country to Canada.  Eventually, they would like to do a world tour.  Ghetto Division is even working on opening a Ghetto Division store and maybe opening multiple recording studios.  Apart from that, they have been focusing on throwing events, working on new tracks, and gaining exposure.

In Chicago, they can be seen DJing at Smart Bar and the Metro.  On May 7th they will be at the Abbey Pub, on June 19th they will be at the Congress Theatre, and July 2nd they will be performing along with many other popular artists, at Soldier Field.

If you’d like to follow Ghetto Division or get involved, check out these sites for more information:

http://www.ghettodivision.com

http://www.twitter.com/ghettodivision

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ghetto-Division/110151579702?ref=ts

http://www.myspace.com/ghettodivision

http://www.soundcloud.com/ghettodivision

http://restrictedradio.com/

http://www.myspace.com/490710563

Isaura M. Salinas

His Name is DJ Scend, Not DJ Send Off

Chicago’s Stephan Steciw, a.k.a. DJ Scend, grew up surrounded with many musical influences. His father is a musician and introduced him to instruments at an early age.  His own style of DJing covers hip-hop and house, both old and new, while still maintaining a unique Chicago beat.  Thanks to social networking sites and CRB Radio (Chitown Record Bangers), DJ Scend is able to quickly get his music out to his fans.  Chitown Record Bangers Radio is a big part of DJ Scend’s musical career.  He mixes there every Wednesday from 6 to 8 pm and fans can listen live to DJ Scend mix a dope fresh style of the old with the new. He smoothly mixes in ol’ school hits like 2Pac’s, I get around, with recent tracks from today’s artists like Kanye West.  He can be seen spinning live at Sopo Lounge (3418 N. Southport Ave.), Junior’s (2058 W. Cermak Rd.), Bon-V (1100 W. Randolph St.) and many other Chicago nightclubs.  DJ Scend’s hip-house mixes truly represent the Chicago urban music scene. DJ Scend took some time out to talk to me about CRB Radio and his other ventures, and here’s what he had to say:

How did you get into your DJ career?

I got into music at the age of 5.  I started on the piano and then moved to guitar. When I turned 18, I bought my first set of turntables.  My father is a musician and I grew up around a studio environment, so it was easy for me to choose music as my ultimate career goal.

Getting started in the music business can be challenging.  How did you attain exposure and new fans?

A lot of my recent exposure has come from my weekly mixshow that I host and run for CRB Radio (www.crbradio.com).  CRB stands for Chitown Record Bangers, and our goal as musicians is to give people a constant stream of music that is different and also familiar.

I do a lot of self promotion as well.  I’m constantly on Twitter and Facebook doing the geeky internet ‘thing’ with posting mixes and recordings of my radio mixshow to help get my sound out there.  I also do street work when I can, as far as putting up posters and flyers and just trying to support events whenever I can.

I imagine it is a rush being in front of a crowd.  What is it you like most about your DJ career?

The biggest thing I love about being a DJ is when someone approaches me at the end of the night at the end of my set and says “I want to thank you for helping me forget everything tonight.  Your set made me appreciate music all over again.” That right there is the biggest payout I can ask for.  I’ve gotten that [reaction] numerous times and that’s what keeps pushing me to stay on top of my own game.  No money can compare.

That’s great.  How do you contribute to music and the community?

I would like to think that I contribute to music by helping expose some styles and genres of music that most might not be used to hearing.  I like to play all types of music and like to ‘break records’ whenever I have the chance to do so…I try to involve myself in local art shows to help bring the community together under the umbrella of music.

Spin it ScendThis style of music is rapidly gaining a large fan following. What advice do you have for newcomers who are faced with the choice of getting a degree or following their passions? Does getting an education fit in your musical career?

Since I never finished college, the biggest positive I gained from school was meeting all the different people.  In the end, all those different people end up choosing different career paths that somehow, [in] someway [I get lucky and they] end up coming back [in my life] with something I can network with –whether it’s [with] a designer, marketing director, or another musician, we all find a way to trade each other’s skills to benefit and support one another.

Did the time you spent in school help out with your career choice?

School can definitely help out from a business standpoint.  Every artist needs to be business savvy because we are all marketing ourselves on a constant basis.  School may not be able to teach you creativity or artistic integrity, but it can definitely help you out with how to approach the music industry as a whole.

What influenced you to choose the style of music you work with?

I started as a hip-hop DJ.  I only played underground and old school hip-hop.  I started realizing that to make a name and gain exposure; I would need to play other styles of hip-hop.  I started getting into more of the radio music and mixing that up with underground.

I then got into the house music scene heavily.  A lot of people I work with currently [had] met me as a ‘house’ DJ.  I started trying to bridge the gap for myself by learning to mix both genres.  After being given my own mix show for CRB Radio, almost 2 years ago, I was almost forced to constantly keep a fresh style and sound.  It helped me greatly because I would dig for all sorts of different music.  To me it’s not about a genre, it’s about a sound.  If it’s good, it’s good…end of story.

Are you currently working on other projects beside the weekly Mixshow on CRB Radio?

I’m doing some production now and I’m also working on bringing Chicago MC’s on my show to ‘rep’ Chicago music.

DJ Scend spins every Wednesday on CRB live, Friday’s at Sopo Lounge,

Thursdays at the Wicker Well from 9 to 2, and Saturdays at Tini Martini’s main room.

Isaura Salinas

For the 411 on upcoming events for DJ Scend, check these sites out:

http://www.crbradio.com

http://www.mediafire.com/mrscend

http://www.youtube.com/djscend1

http://twitter.com/djscend