A Brief History!
DMC launched the DMC WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIPS in 1985 when a young Londoner called Roger Johnson took the first title in London’s fantastic Hippodrome where DMC staged a DJ Convention.
It took America’s DJ Cheese in 1986 to bring the best out of the turntables by scratching his way to DMC’s first ever World Title. An unhappy runner-up, Holland’s Orlando Voorn grabbed the mic from the events MC and founder Tony Prince and bellowed the immortal word’s “What is this, a Mixing Competition or a Scratching Competition?”
By the following year, turntable tricks started to establish themselves with the emergence of props, body tricks and a variety of scratching techniques, DJs scratched with bicycles and even kitchen sinks, Chad Jackson used a billiard cue and an American football to help him become the 1987 Champion. And the venue that had never before featured a DJ let alone heard hip-hop riffs, the Royal Albert Hall rang to the mighty sound of scratching, yet to be called turntablism.
A year later at the same venue, 5000 fans witnessed the birth of an American DJ god when Cash Money flew in from Philly to show everyone the way forward. They call him old school these days but back then he was very much new school. No one had seen anything like him. There were many influential DJs in the history of the DMC’s but none more so than Cash.
During these days, EVERYONE wanted to join the DJs at a DMC Final, Run DMC, Public Enemy, Janet Jackson and James Brown honoured us with their presence.
In 1989 The UK’s Cutmaster Swift mixed and performed his way to win the first ever DMC/Technics Golden Turntables in the mother of all DJ competitions. Swifty continues to work for DMC even to this day. He too was a pioneer of techniques as the art of turntablism began to evolve.
In 1990 the event moved lock stock and decks to the enormous Wembley Arena, a venue used by the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Sold out, DMC experienced ram raiders who tried to break down an exit door with a car to get inside the venue, the Boo Yaa Tribe became our security that night! On stage before 7000 fans, Germany’s DJ David stamped his authority on the challengers who had travelled the globe for their six minute shot at the title.
In 1991 once again DMC had to relocate but everyone agreed the Hammersmith Palais was the perfect venue for the event. No one liked it more in 1991 than DJ David from Germany as he took his second title. To this day his routine remains the world’s greatest DJ trick in DMC’s Championship history as the mighty Technics turntable took his entire weight and spun him like a human record. The audience erupted as young David took the limelight away from a legend in waiting who posted second place…..
Q-Bert had finally arrived and the next time we saw him, he’d bring his posse!
In 1992 teams were allowed into the event for the first time, not in a team championship but head to head against the solo DJs.
The Rock Steady DJs from San Francisco with the legendary Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike and DJ Apollo, raised the bar almost beyond anyone’s reach.
The following year the Rock Steady DJs came back as The Dream Team with members Q-Bert and Mixmaster Mike and claimed the title (there was only one event for the years 1993/1994).
In 1995 America remained dominant and kept the title for a third consecutive year with a most amazing performance from the late great GM Roc Raida who passed away in a tragic accident in 2009. RIP Roc Raida. DMC Champion for life.
In 1996 the World Finals headed to sun soaked Rimini in Italy. Here the tables literally turned and the coveted DMC title came back to Europe with the gold Technics SL1200s going home to Denmark with the peoples favourite DJ Noize.
Everyone enjoyed Italy so much we returned the following year to witness the precociously talented 15 year old A-Trak who’d arrived to show the world that age doesn’t matter! Canada, for the very first time, was in the DMC Hall of Fame and A-Trak was in the record books! The same year all the DMC World Champions gathered for the very first DMC SUMMIT, a joyous celebration of mixing and DJ brotherhood.
Each year the art of the DJ evolved and with it there was always someone who shone with some special ingredient to their performances. Then Craze arrived from Miami and there followed the CRAZE BLOCK, an amazing three consecutive DMC titles 1998, 1999 and 2000 – a feat that to this day has never been equalled in the 6 minute solo performance.
2000 marked more than the turn of the century for the DMC Championships as the event took in one of the world’s most recognisable venues, the Millennium Dome. More than 5000 fans from around the world converged into London and judging by the amount of disappointed non ticket holders, there could have been 5000 more.
After a gold-draught of eleven years, the UK took advantage of Craze’s resignation from the main event and a highly tuned Plus One stepped forward to take the vacated 2001 crown. This likable young Scottish DJ’s fortunes improved even more when invited to join Britain’s Scratch Perverts, a position he still maintains, touring and entertaining thousands of people throughout the world with Tony Vegas and Prime Cuts.
In 2002 the sponsors were in for a treat as for the first time a Japanese competitor took the Golden Technics turntables back to the land of their creators. DJ Kentaro moved at the speed of sound with amazing dexterity and musicianship, no one had seen it move like this, the house was electrified with excitement and appreciation. Even the judges gave him a standing ovation.
Kentaro, locked in his Japanese home for a year, had watched, learned and delivered.
In 2003 the UK rejoiced as DJ Dopey delivered a knock out blow to those who had travelled to London’s renowned Brixton Academy to witness the latest styles and newest ideas and the home crowd were knocked out to see another Canadian added to the list of winners.
When the next year came around and Dopey announced his brave decision to defend he ran headlong into the magic of the USA’s latest turntable genius – ie.MERG who waltzed to two consecutive wins in 2004 and 2005. Once again a USA DJ had flown across the Atlantic to dominate the entire DJ world.
Whilst the solo event was now the highlight of a two day series of events, the DMC Team Championship and Battle for World Supremacy were now making their own noises and creating their own stars.
Amongst DMC’s strongest DJ nations were the French who gifted us with the amazing 4 time World Team Champions – C2C.
Even so France had gone without a solo scalp…until 2006 when DJ Netik returned from a 4 year hiatus after his 2002 Battle win, to go on and claim the solo title.
2006 was also the year when generous sponsors Ortofon put up $30,000 in prize money to be shared between winners of the solo, team and battle events. This was a significant amount certainly worth fighting for even though every DJ who entered only had their eyes on the golden turntables!
For 2007 DMC returned to the Millennium Dome, this time under its new O2 guise. Germany’s DJ Rafik took the world DJ title back to a nation that hadn’t won since David’s acrobatic victory 15 years earlier. Germany is a great DJ nation and the audience was filled with his supporters who rejoiced at being back on the DMC map.
2008 and we return to the Indig02, and DJ Fly from France is crowned DMC World Champion, DJ Switch from the UK is crowned Battle For Supremacy Champion and Japanese duo Kireek won the World Team event! The art was flying.
DMC reached its 25th Anniversary in 2009, it seems an amazing accomplishment, not just for DMC but for the society of global DJs we support. This was the year we ran into turntable intelligence when DJ Shiftee from NYC, a Harvard graduate was crowned DMC World Champion. Shiftee had decided to have fun with his first love Djing, before giving his life up to his Harvard training. Whether that will ever happen now he is such a major attraction in the world market, only time will tell. DJ Switch from the UK was crowned Battle For World Supremacy Champion and Kireek from Japan took the World Team Championships once again for the third time – and they hadn’t finished yet!
The doors of KOKO in London’s Camden Town opened to welcome our two days of competing in 2010. It was once again France’s turn to burst open the champagne after a sensational performance from DJ Ligone who’d beat Japan’s Coma into second (we’d allowed him into the Eliminations as Shiftee wasn’t defending) and Japan’s Blu into third.
Two new DMC records were also broken, Switch won his third Battle for World Supremacy title and the Japanese duo Kireek drew level with C2C’s FOUR TIME TEAM CHAMPIONS.
In 2011 we returned to the London’s Indig02 Arena with Rane and Serato supporting the two day festival. We wondered how everyone would feel about a Thursday and Friday event but we had nothing to worry about, have great DMC DJ’s…have great DMC audience! This year the DJs were allowed to use Serato Scratch Live and DVS in their routines and we’d seen from the first ever DMC ONLINE DJ CHAMPIONSHIP what could be achieved without restrictions on equipment.
America’s DJ Vajra had backed out of the final of the ONLINE DJ CHAMPIONSHIP so that he wouldn’t reveal what he had ready for the World Finals having become the new DMC American Champion. Vajra won the first ever gold-plated Rane Sixty-Eight mixer, and numerous other prizes supplied by Rane and Serato. Japan’s Izoh placed second with a highly entertaining routine, and DJ Co-Ma, also from Japan, came in third. 2 x DMC UK Champion JFB delivered a masterful performance placing him 4th in the World.
France’s DJ Nelson took out all competitors in the Battle for World Supremacy with the skills only a champion of champions could exhibit. The Runner up Norihito from Japan battled hard too, and will without a doubt be coming back next year to try and retrieve the crown. Japan had sent a strong field and so far had runners up in both events. Could four time winning Kireek, Japan’s dynamic duo, do the impossible…. Yes they could! In 2011 the DMC WORLD caught their breath as Kireek pulled in their fifth consecutive Team Championship outstripping every DMC record in the book.
Will they fly in for the 6th year in a row? Roll on September in London!
Lastly, Germany’s Unkut, winner of the first ever DMC ONLINE DJ CHAMPION was DMC’s special guest of honour and due to health reason took his doctor’s orders and did not put himself under the stress of competing in the World Final live.
In 2012 the DMC World Finals were staged at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town. The Belgium team ‘THE MIXFITZ’ won the DMC World Team Championship, DJ Vekked from Canada won the Battle For World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by Japan’s DJ IZOH!
The 2013 DMC World Finals were staged at the 02 Arena, Indig02, Greenwich, London.
The French team – Mr. Viktor, Deska & DJ Hertz won the DMC World Team Championship, Richie Ruftone from the UK won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by France’s DJ Fly.
The 2014 DMC World Finals were staged at the Forum, London.
The French team – 9 O’ Clock won the DMC World Team Championship, IFTW from the USA won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by UK’s Mr. Switch.
The 2015 DMC World Finals were staged at the Forum, London.
The French team – 9 O’ Clock won the DMC World Team Championship, Precision from the USA won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by Canada’s Vekked.
The 2016 DMC World Finals were staged at the 02 Forum, London.
The French team – DJ Fly & DJ Netik won the DMC World Team Championship, Erick Jay from Brazil won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by Japan’s DJ Yuto.
The 2017 DMC World Finals were staged at the Koko, London.
The Canadian team – The Fresherthans won the DMC World Team Championship, DJ Yukichi from Japan won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by Japan’s DJ Rena.
The 2018 DMC World Finals were staged at the Islington Assembly Hall, London.
K-Swizz from New Zealand won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by France’s DJ Skillz.
The 2019 DMC World Finals were staged at the Islington Assembly Hall, London.
DJ Matsunaga from Japan won the Battle for World Supremacy and the DMC World Champion title was taken by reigning World Champion DJ Skillz from France.
We can’t wait for the 2020 edition!!