Best DJ

D Sharp

It isn’t often that you see Charles Lloyd free-jazz records stashed
among the old-school breaks and 1980s hits in a DJ’s record collection.
(Granted, it’s become increasingly rare to find a DJ with a physical
record collection, now that Serato Scratch has become the main
stock-in-trade.) But D Sharp came up in the era of crate-digging, and
unlike many of his contemporaries, he’s a scholar of multiple music
genres with an encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop. Sharp is one of those
DJs who could not only name a sample, but also tell you exactly when
the original record dropped, then describe the picture on the record
jacket. In addition to his successful DJ career (he’s toured with
Blackalicious, Flipsyde, and the Lauryn Hill band, among others), he’s
also a sought-after producer and indie mogul, having launched the
hip-hop label Urban Republic (which holds rappers Nerve and Mr. Town
within its stable). Sharp’s syncopated production style and creative
use of samples (as a rhythmic element rather than a backdrop) betrays a
real understanding of music. Word around town is he’s not cheap, but
he’s definitely worth it.

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