DMC championships london

Review: DJ Rena Makes History as DMC World Champion 2017

In Hip Hop by Elliott Nielson

Japanese spinner is the DMC’s youngest DJ Champion ever – he’s TWELVE. 

DJ Rena from Nara, Japan is the youngest person to win the DMC competition in it’s 32 year history. DJ Rena took home a one and only exclusive brand new GOLD Rane Seventy-Two Premium 2 channel Scratch mixer.

It was a day of days for Japanese fans as DJ Yukichi took the World Supremacy prize earlier in the day. He gave a phenomenal display of technical skill and musicality.

New Zealand’s DJ Spell took 3rd Place, with his all-guns-blazing set of futuristic sounds. DJ Skillz from France clinched 2nd place with a cinematic-audio display and took home a Rane SL4 DVS system for Serato.

All DJs gave it 100% and pioneering hip hop duo The London Posse performed some classics after the competition, for an all-round hip-hop audio-splendour.

Picture this: it’s 10pm on the Sunday and 11 national champions have already scratched, chopped and blended their 6-minute performances, in the hope they’ll take home the legendary World Champ Jacket. The final DJ walks onto the stage, and the judges are clutching their clipboards.

Could it be boredom? Is it frustration they haven’t decided a winner or could it be the thought, “is this 12 year old from Japan, going to turn everything on it’s head and put my years in the game to shame?

Damn well he did. With his supple hands about to grace the wax, the young prodigy stepped up to the decks and gave a smile with a tranquil wave. How is he smiling and this relaxed!? The young prodigy was already a winner for stepping up to the mark as calm as he was. Once he finished he walked to the front of the stage like a winner should, it was just incredible.

Here’s DJ Rena’s winning set:

Some Knowledge For Your Head:

DJ Legend Tony Prince started DMC’s worldwide competition as a DJ convention in 1985. Two years on and the DMC Competition was the first crew of people to DJ at the Royal Albert Hall. They sold 5000 tickets for the event in 1988!

DMC as a brand gained some prolific fans; Run DMC, Public Enemy, Janet Jackson and even James Brown wanted to witness the ‘new art form’ – turntablism. Tony Prince, founder of the Disco Mix Club (original name), once said “I always fought in the DJ corner, musicians used to say DJs were music parasites and I would say ‘No, they love music, they have to be part of it’.”

Tony Prince’s passionate sense of musicality, appraisal of skill and new ways to spread the art of DJing still hold great prevalence, and this awards was no different. For the first time ever, the event was streamed worldwide, via Facebook Live. Prince seemed excited by the prospect of this easily available streaming service in his closing ceremony speech,  making KOKO audience give a salute to those at home across the world.

All 8 judges gave a unique performance just before the award ceremony to pay their respects for recently departed, DMC Legend, DJ Daredevil. This display and recognition went beyond the call of duty and they played Daredevil’s 2003 DMC Finals Set.

The night was wholly dedicated to the art, the key players in the art and awarding those that are taking the art further with their skills.

Words and photos: Elliot Nielsen.