September 6, 2007


As A DJ coming up in the early/mid 90's, I have to admit I knew little about DJ Battles, DMC battles, and turntablism in general, until hearing Roc Raida on the Stretch and Bobbito show in 1994 (which u can find a rip of on Stretch's blog). But it wasn't until 1996 that I became inspired to try my hand at turntablism, and I credit this inspiration to the X-men (now the X-ecutioners) that at the time were carried by Roc Raida, DJ (Mista) Sinista, and Rob Swift. In April of 1996, they made an appearance on the Stretch and Bobbito show on KCR, as well as the XL show they had on Hot 97 to promote the release of their semi-instructional video X-ercise vol 1. After hearing their performances on the radio, I was compelled to buy this video and study what it was they were doing. Until hearing of this video, I didn't see it possible to learn on my own.

They credit Superman Steve Dee as the pioneer of beat juggling early in 1991. In my opinion, these three took what he did to another level. With the release of the X-ercise video, the X-men inspired a gang of DJ's to follow in their footsteps. You had the DMC videos that you could watch for inspiration, but the X-ercise video gave you a behind the scenes look at how they came up with and developed their routines, as well as overhead camera angles which allowed you to study the juggles better. What I did was study and duplicate Sinista's Method Man routine in order to learn how to juggle, and I've spoken to other DJ's who say they did the same.

You have to credit the X-Men, as well as the Invisibl Scratch Piklz,
for the wide spread explosion of the battle scene. For the most part
you had the west coast Piklz breaking ground with the innovative
scratches, and the east coast X-men with the insane juggles.

I'll never forget the battle between these two crews at the very first
ITF battle in NY, where Total Eclipse won and later became a member
of the X-men. The stuff they were doing back then may seem basic today,
but at the time it was completely new and progressive.

So here now are sets from Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, and Rob Swift
performing live on Stretch & Bobbito's 'Boogie and the Barber' show
on Hot 97 in April of 1996.

X-Men live on Hot 97
(Boogie and the Barber, April 1996)

Also as an added bonus, Mista Sinista's Big Pun routine from the Radio Ruckus show in
New Brunswick NJ from a few years back. It was quite an honor to meet Sinista and
catch an exclusive set from him, he is truly a talented and humble person. Sinista,
in my opinion, always had the sickest juggles, patterns, and arrangements.

As another bonus, a routine done by yours truly using LL Cool J's 'I'm that type of guy'. This is a pretty old routine. I hope this post satisfies those people requesting some turntablist mixes, once I get around to ripping the routines from KCR from the same week in 1996, I might throw them up on a post also, plus I have some more turntablism stuff on the way, enjoy...


  1. Stevie put his thing down, and since I listen to folks and judge them on the time frame he was alright. I just happen to come from a city where Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, and DJ Miz come from and the average DJ could get down like that. Not saying that wasn't good but by 91 Jazzy and Cash had left a Blueprint aht many was able to imulate at this time. That is why the need to change the game came along. So DJ's like Q-Bert Roc raider and so forth began reinventing the scratch. Roc wasn't no joke though and he did both.I love watching this guy get down cause he entertains while doing it, plain and simple Roc is my mid 90's hero.

  2. Roc is the man no doubt, and still does his thing, all the x-men for that matter. All those Philly DJ's were mad influential as well, with the transforming and all that.