West-Side Scratchin’

West-Side Scratchin’

Byline: Deana Morgan

After three successful years headquartered in New York City, the Scratch DJ Academy, the nation’s first, is opening a campus on the West Coast. To celebrate, the Academy hosted a grand opening night jam-packed with all sorts of freebies, including record giveaways and sample lessons by resident professors. Held at Scratch Academy headquarters – Rehab Records – in West Los Angeles, the packed venue featured starry-eyed crowds clustered around Scratch Academy professors, who strutted their stuff.

The Scratch DJ Academy was founded by Rob Principe; Jason Mizell (the late Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC); and Reg E. Gaines, lyricist and playwright of the musical Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk. The Academy provides a written curriculum taught by respected DJ professors. Current professors include Power 106’s Mr. Choc, Mos Def and Talib Kweli DJ Jahi Sundance, Scratch DJ Academy Director Hapa, Asian Hip-Hop Summit resident Denkym, International Turntable finalist Mike C, Fakshuns crew battler Dynamix and others.

All classes are hands-on and rotate turntable-technique theory with lab time on one of the school’s 16 turntables. Classroom size is limited to no more than 16 students per class, and classes are six weeks long, tailored for beginners, intermediates and advanced students. Two new classes have been added for spring 2005: a 10-week “intensive” course (beginner and intermediate classes combined) and a “graduate level” course, for those wishing to hone their skills and take things even further. For more info, go to www.scratch.com/la.

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