Allow me to reintroduce myself… DJ Big Rush. Some may know and many may not know, but at one time I was a DJ. I guess I shouldn’t say was because once a DJ always a DJ. For those that didn’t know let me start from the beginning. The year was 1983 and everyone was breakdancing, pop-locking and all. Being that I’m not good at either, but loving hip hop I wanted to have a role in my neighborhood. My sisters and father were avid music collectors so at the ripe old age of 12. I decided I wanted to control the music for the dancers. Now I needed to get some gear.
So it begins
So with the help of my parents and sisters, I started my DJ journey with a pair of belt-driven Gemini turntables and 2 channel mixer with a microphone from Radio shack (don’t laugh we all got most of our audio gear from Radio Shack… this is the 80’s). And with the records from my pop was sort of a great start. But I needed more tunes and being 12 going on 13 the only thing I could do was hustle and get a summer job. So working at the local school packing lunches and shoveling snow in the winter. I managed to build my record collection as well as develop a skill of being on the ones and twos.
The Year is 1984
In comes the spring of 1984, as I started to build a local rep for my talent on the turntables with a small series of mixtapes. But I have yet to perform in public. That all changed when a friend of mine asked me to DJ his birthday party. I immediately hopped on the chance to show off my skills. With 4 long crates of records and damn good at blending (which I believe they call beat matching nowadays) and my scratching was okay mostly due to my turntables being belt driving and skipping a lot with too much pressure.
I had to get my mom to bring me to the party as I was too young to drive. Which she didn’t mind as she loved the fact that I was so into something and it was going to generate money. The party started promptly at 7 PM (again this was the early 80’s and we weren’t out past midnight at that time). And boy was I nervous, see this was my first outing in public as a DJ. The mixtapes were cool, but in public that was a different vibe altogether.
Hey what’s your DJ name
Finding my groove came quickly and the crowd seemed pleased with my mixes and record selection. But there was one major thing I totally forgot and didn’t have… a DJ name. See my mixtapes were just done with no MC or speaking other than the records, the only reason people knew it was me was due to word of mouth. We didn’t really have to worry about bitters so much back then. When some inquired about my DJ name was I was absolutely clueless as I never really thought about it.
DJ Rush is my name
This one girl who was standing near walked up and asked for my DJ name. At this point I just came out and said sorry I don’t have one. So she says dang you just RUSHED into this huh? Others overheard and yelled ‘his name is DJ Rush’. The party started chanting something like ‘go rush, go rush’ and the name just stuck. And that night at that party DJ Rush was born.
After the success of my first party and now that I have a DJ name. I needed to make the next move. Which was to replace my belt driven turntables with a pair of Technique 1200s. But at the time just one turntable was about $400 which for a 14-year-old in the ’80s was a freaking fortune. So back to the hustle, shoveling snow during the winter and a job in the summer. And at the pace I was going I wasn’t going to have money for one until like my 17th or 18th birthday. Gosh its rough being a kid.
Good fortune arises
The summer of 1985 was my year as good fortune finally shone down on me. Another local DJ from a neighborhood over was coming out of the game and he was selling his pair of Technique 1200s. I immediately headed over to his spot and asked him how much. I nearly hit the floor when he said he would let both of them go for… wait for it… $300 for the pair. Man I told him I wanted them and I would get the money like ASAP. He agreed to hold them for me. And I ran home to crack open my piggy bank and get me some 12s.
The long walk home
I headed back to his home with the money in hand. And like he promised he held both turntables for me. He even let me in to see that they work and the condition they were in. I was so excited to have a pair of 12s I said I’ll just carry them. Dude was like ‘damn young-blood, you know these joints are heavy’. Look man I didn’t care I just wanted to get home and plug them up. Now let me paint this picture of desperation for you. I’m 15 at about 160lbs carrying two 1200s which weigh about 20-25lbs each roughly a half a mile to my house. Once I finally managed to get home, after taking frequent breaks as those joints were heavy. All I could do was sit down and take a damn nap.
So much for hooking them up that afternoon.
DJ Big Rush – the battle DJ
Word of mouth is a mother! After doing a few parties word got out about this big dude from New Castle who was damn nice on the turntables. And with that come the challenges from others who wanted to take the new dude out. By now I had a squad I was rolling with. We were all from New Castle Delaware and pretty much grew up with one another and hung at the local boys club in Rosehill. I just wanted to spin some dope ass tunes for the crowd. But once you start to build a rep, conflict, and beef is sure to follow. And I was on the verge of battle.
This is hip hop.
Browns Boys Club
After a few successful wins as a battle DJ (turntablist wasn’t a term at this time), my rep in the area grew. And I was called out by a DJ on the westside of town. A match was set for the battle at a party that was happening at the Browns Boys Club on the northside. The gym at the club was freaking huge. They had speakers on both sides of the stage. I was guided to where I was to setup. The DJ who challenged me was already there and setup. He was the popular one and the crowd was vibing with him. Then it was my turn, not even through the first few minutes of my set a fight breaks out and the party gets turned out. I did just enough to have the crowd bugging out before the party got shut down.
No winner was declared but this was far from over.
Prices Park battle on the basketball courts
The rematch for our battle was to take place back on the north side of Wilmington at Prices Park on the basketball court. Again they had the system all set up. And this time I was to go first since he went first last time. Let me tell you I came for blood. I chose to start my set off with a track by Public Enemy which JUST came out that week. This set caused the crowd to go bananas, people weren’t used to seeing a big dude DJ with finesse and rhythm. And I can’t lie I was definitely in the zone. My set shut shit down and the other DJ didn’t even want to spin.
I’m DJ Big Rush, Yeah I was just that dope.
Delaware’s Prodigal Son Returns
After the late 80’s early 90’s I sort of gravitated away from DJaying, but I always loved music. It was just that another love was coming into play. And that love was photography and video. Those loves took me through the 90’s all the way thru the 2000s. And as always what you once loved will return. So here we are 2021 and I’m coming out of my self-imposed sabbatical. Now with the skills of photography and video in my arsenal why not start streaming.
Well, folks that pretty much sums things up. If you’re interested I’ll start streaming on March 20th. I plan on streaming mostly on Twitch. But will also stream on Facebook and YouTube at the same time. Below are my planned streaming times. I would suggest definitely following me on Twitch especially as that’s the main platform. And we know how FB loves to chop streams for music copyright issues. Whereas Twitch lets it ride just that they will mute the replay.