Monday, August 31, 2009


Going through many mixes and downing them before they disappear. Wish woulda went to his set when he was in Minneapolis months ago to see the hype in person. There are things that must be experienced and words and speak and talk can only reach.

Dude was a sneakerhead. Dude was on NT. Dude loved music and was spoken to be very humble.
Here are words from many others on him.

another dudes testimonial to what he could do.

Words from a friend, and "brother" of his I believe.

To my brother Adam, (this is some personal shit, for anyone who has something negative to say about it, tell me to my face, this goes for friends of his as well. I speak on behalf of myself and nothing is meant or even hinted in a disrespectful way)

Dear Adam,

It's Yang, aka Ben Yizzle your friend for 2 decades.... the last 34 hours have been some of the toughest I've been through in a very long time if not ever. I am so confused, I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm pretty much fucked up in the head, so are so many of your dearest family/friends. I know your story, so we are all your family pretty much. Well, Me Homicide and Jon and Kev E. Kev just threw a gathering in your honor to get the OG's heads to show up and mad OG's showed up to talk, spread love and just get frustrations & pain and memories off our chests and out of our way without any annoyances or outsiders making shit uncomfortable. (on the drive to the Telly, me and Homicide were bumping old school ice cube and imitating the scratches like we used to anytime we were in the car listening to music! damn) Shit I've known you since you were AMG and when you were slanging lil dime bags and we were in search of all the classic samples from Roy Ayers breaks to Grover Washington originals, etc... We've been from good times to bad times, from drugs to sobriety, from being broke to caviar wishes coming true & first class flights.... but most importantly, Adam I want you to know this: I AM SORRY FOR ANY OF THE FIGHT'S WE HAD, ALL OF THEM WERE SO DUMB AND SO CHILDISH! I hope you know when were battling for the top nightclub DJ spot it was all out of friendly competition. I talked to Brent Bolthouse tonight about the mid to late 90's when I had Grand Ville poppin and my ego was absolutely out of control... to when we were both at Opium Den and Las Palmas and then you sky rocketed into different areas. before LAX, etc... (remember when I got the 1st billboard in Las Vegas and threw shit into your face and you never acted or reacted like a bitch out of spite, you let your hand skills talk always and I never wanted to practice with you because I knew you were nicer with the scratches, but I was still that party starter lol... you were always nice while I was the dickhead asshole dj)
People thought I gave up, but you knew I was over it and once serrato hit, I was really just like this shit is some new jack mickey mouse bullshit everyone wants to be a dj but has no clue of what 2 turntables were really originated from, so I retired, but it was still all love, you never made it uncomfortable, you kept it crazy humble.
and btw, I never hated on you, no matter what people thought, you know we woulda never started AMC if that was so, AMC was so much more than just sneakers and djing. AMC was also so many years after our friendship was certified. I was not only your biggest fan, but so was Homicide.... remember we used to look at him from afar when he was rocking stages for over 20,000 + audiences and then we all toured and everything, but now we were the ones watching you rock stages of 50,000+ like it's NOTHING! I always had love for you and I will admit as I did tonight to Kev E Kev that I was too proud to take some of your fill in gigs because of my stupid ass ego. I had too much pride from being the biggest Hollywood dj at one point to play 2nd best to you, I was so lame and dumb for that... I worked so hard to basically live beyond my means back then.... to drive an M3 or a porsche carrera and have all those kicks to fill an empty image.... but we got a hold of ourselves and realized that money only bought us conveniences and afforded us nice hotel rooms with late nights @ the bellagio cafe. I miss you so much adam. fuck man, I'm so mad you had to fucking relapse. I'm so mad you did that show even though you meant well for those who needed help. I'm so fucking angry, grown man to grown man that you had to go through some of these trials and pain. You are definitely in a better place now. You are definitely in heaven no doubt. I know God let you in. I am so frustrated by all the idiots and rumors that have been spread now because of your celebrity status, but really..... it was meant to be for you, AMC and our whole circle of fam to be stars. We had talents, BUT you were especially so amazing at taking an idea and executing it to the fullest.... you surpassed many of us when we were already ahead of the game. But fuck all of that. you supported so many people, you gave jobs to many and fed many. You took care of your mom like a good son is supposed to. I still can't believe this. So many stories bro, like Alan Alchemist said, we lived 3 lifetimes worth of memories and I will never forget any of them.... from "you're soooo not inspectah deck to ohhh what movie would that be? the Phantom?" to trynna cheat our way out of paying the $120 parking bill at LAX after the sugar ray tour.... to teaching me how to play hold em'..... FUCK ADAM, SO MUCH SHIT! me and Homicide went through videos of us and you that haven't never been seen before by the public... we have folders and tons of archives of pictures of all of us, I NEVER GAVE A SHIT NOR DID ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU WERE 350LBS. we all loved you regardless, you never got that huh? nobody who knew you the OG you cared bro. Everytime I was being a scumbag piece of shit, you would call me out on it, when I cheated on girlfriends, did drugs, whatever, you had no problem with telling me about it. I did the same, but you hardly fucked up. I don't know what else to say. We're having a bbq 2moro for you and then gonna give you a proper goodbye this week. so I guess I'll see you soon.

damn damn damn
shalom Mr. Goldstein.

I can't believe this and never thought I'd outlive you, especially after the plane crash. If it wasn't for that crash, I woulda never got in shape (rest in peace Che' Charles Still & Lil Chris)... damn from Frek One to Brent Shapiro.... now I'm actually going to be attending your funeral and I'm FUCKING SICK ABOUT THAT! :(
Niko made some amazing memorial pics in honor of you and Matt Colon made one too... you already know we have many other pics. but these are what I want on this blog... of course on your first stage dive you're wearing OG AJ III's

p.s. you really changed the game with this dj shit. you pushed the bar so high that nobody can ever reach the level you were at and nobody could replace you EVER! I'm proud of you homey. have a peaceful journey. I love you
when all these psuedo dj's would be scared to play real hip hop or just get way too pop or vegas, you were the cat who threw on DIPSET "I really mean it" as your first song entering the night and force these squares to listen to shit they had no clue about! I was right there with you homey, you already know!

the first time i went to see him i was amazed by the fan fare and the lines around the corner for a DJ - then as he spun the energy was just crazy...the crowd was on the floor from start to finish...i knew about him from ben and NT then from the paparazzi type stuff..but listening to mixes online couldnt compare to actually being there

i mean everytime i went to see him he would surprise me with the music selection and the ability to not lose the crowd -

couple examples for the dj/music people-

- im in a upscale lounge/club with predominately Italians and white people all jammin on the dance floor when all of of sudden you hear-
"Woke up late, at about noon, just thought that i had to be in compton soon! "
me and my dudes were like image cause it was in between some like techno beats and the dance floor didnt skip a beat...if a reg dj just puts that song on outta nowhere in a club like this he'd get boo'd off- but the mix was seamless and everybody was feeling it-

-another time i'm at another nice club at the casino- and in the middle of the main part of the night he did a lil dipset set with songs like suck it or not, dipset anthem, i really mean it etc...again everyone went crazy - we almost got kicked out for making it rain off the VIP balcony image

overall DJ AM was the best at what he did and that was rocking a crowd- kinda put's things in perspective and makes you appreciate stuff a lil more when you see someone who has all the $$, fame and talent still have "regular people" problems - I hope he's in a better place now-

condolences out to Ben - i know that was your fam 4real

Stepping Til The A.M., R.I.P. DJ AM

Posted on 08/30/2009
i was one of those grumpy quasi music experts who dismissed neo
electronica as mindless cocaine drivel.
a means to get your inner sharon stone on in the middle of the club
body rock on.
no merit whatsovever.
i made my disdain vocal back then.
thank god.
withouth it i woulda never met my friend adam goldstein.

without getting uber dramatic about it i will say that of all the dj's
that i've encountered
in my life (i could write a bajillion paragraphs on flash, jay, jeff,
cash, cosmic kev, primo, muro, kon, amir, king britt, medina, and
cosmo) i believe its safe to say that adam's influence has infected me
the most.


he truly taught me the art of taking risks.

we first met at a maxim superbowl party in 2005. as usual i was
shocked that he was in awe and happy to see me. he told me of his
philly roots and INSTANTLY stopped his uber pulsed 130 bpm electronic
fest that at that point even i will admit had me even hypnotized
--well this being my first type of party of this stature in which ever
cliche was going on around me on some sex, drugs, rock n roll
+++------to start playing....real hip hop?

i yelled "no man! dont do that for my benefit! do you see that 5 girl
make out fest on the floor? put that Daft back on man!!"

he laughed at me. "its past 1am....their already warmed up"

i didn't get it but he taught me the 1am rule. he said you spend the
first two hours in foreplay "warming them up"---but the second that
1am arrives (presuming the crowd has um....."warmed up" at the bar and
whatnot") THIS is when you establish your legend. you take risks and
you use their vulnerable state to truly establish an imprint in their
memory bank.

that night i was jaw dropped at how this mofo found a common thread
between michael jackson, herbie hancock, alan thicke's "different
strokes theme", a diplo Seinfeld remix and james brown.

that night changed my life forever.

and im not the only dj to tell this story.

those not in the know can scoff "blah blah nicole ritche all they
want"---dude was a maverick in the highest order.

i changed my entire approach to djing and my approach to how i
listened to music. yes you've heard me use that quip before when
describing the late great j dilla as well. but that is using all music
to create music. now i have to use all my knowledge of music to SHARE

i mean of course i love the andy griffith theme...but how do i make it
work in a club context?

see! you have adam to thank all those times you've heard me go from:

-a breakbeat sample
-the song that used that sample
-a jazz song from the 40s
-some commercial +++ i would never imagine in a bajillion years
playing 10 years ago
-some crazy underground +++ you aint up on
-some rock +++ that my 80s patrons remember their big sibbling
listening to back in the day
-some funk jam their aunt and uncle played at the bar b que
-some real hip hop
-some disco song....

i mean i can go on and on and on.....i started treating records like

they were 10,000 piece puzzles that i had to assemble the right way in
order for you to have a good time....

before i just showed up and played whatever. never giving a thought to
a strategy.

now i spend a minimum of 20 hours days before testing and prepping
each step i take at the booth.

how can i shock em?
how can i move em?
how can i match that night at the maxim party that i first saw DJ AM?

---adam was a humble man.

he loved music.
we aimed for hours sharing treats.
he was NEVER stingy with sharing his records and music with me
he put his money where his mouth was: i knew alot of cats who get the
spotlight and never use that moment to enlighten someone.

the fact that he used that light to bring aboard his mentor dj jazzy
jeff WITH him to introduce jeff to a whole nother audience is an

he was a stand up dude. he spoke of his health issues that he had when
he was younger and sometimes we just spoke on +++ having nada to do
with the latest kanye remix or a breakbeat.

that dude was one of my favorite teachers. with the exception of dj
jazzy jeff, you will rarely to NEVER catch me in the club unless i
have to dj myself. but EVERYTIME he was in town i came to learn.

this is a sad sad sad painfully sad loss.

peace be with his family and friends and all who loved him.

-one love ad.

im sure that AM had to go day in and day out and negotiate all the music we appreciate for mass consumption, he had good nights and just ok ones..
but he wasnt a radio DJ or a programmer or part of a label . he was a straight up Djs dj, he picked his tracks to play out and had THE STYLE that defines our whole generation like it or not …and even if you didnt like his style (which ranged form deep top 40 to deepest old school hip hop to deepest hipster indy rock.. he would come to your party and do what u do better than you (he did it to me coupla times) he would put tracks out there before they were acceptable and he was always adapting to whatever was goin on.. not because he had to… but because he loved music. ..he was definitely a peoples champ
and in a world that doesnt really seem to care about you - promotors, fareweather friends, rich @*#@%$+$, alcholics, trendsters…. AM carved a whole pie out of it and built a giant empire that little of you even know about. He never ever ever didnt have time to talk to one of his dj homies, each and every one of the small wannabes like me still spoke to him still weekly. How many people do u know DJ wedding partys for billionaires, arenas for Jay z, and djs for roctakons !$!@%+ basment party in manhattan for free and then 20 k the next night.. each day he was still asking me for new music and tellin me how the wierdest of my tracks were starting to pick up momentum….. but.. i never knew how long it would last.
Djs have a ceiling, and Am lived on the roof. he sometimes would tell me a bit about his reservations in passing about his lifestyle and i feel like its a loveless place we all live in (DJs). but i dont think We will ever see another person built for it like AM.. he was THE Michael Jackson of this $#%*. so it really worries me a bit that hes gone , cause hes the only that i thought understood it all… he was a sweetheart and tried his damnest to be the best at it and still be the best at being himself

This was the first time I met DJ AM in 2004.

The DJ world just lost one of its brightest shining stars. As I type this less than 2 days after the fact, I'm still in disbelief. Perhaps last fall's plane crash made us all recollect on how much we cared about him, but also made us feel that after such a close brush with death he was now here to stay. I wrote a post about it at the time. It's unbelievably tragic to lose such a talented, kind and generous man just a few months later.

For me personally, AM's passing is a shock on many levels. First of all we lost a friend, and a true stand-up guy. A mensch, as we call them. Anyone who ever met Adam will tell you the same thing: he was such a likable character. Always full of energy and motivation, bursting with an almost child-like liveliness. You felt like this guy was just happy to be doing what he was doing. I've never seen him in a crummy mood. For all the flak that he may have caught over the years, especially with early doubters, I've never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He systematically took the high road, he was consistently humble and knew how to make you feel appreciated. I've rarely received as many compliments from a fellow DJ as from AM. As I type this I wonder if I ever conveyed to him how much I appreciated him not just as a DJ but as I person. I hope I did. We shared the same birthday, March 30th. We also shared a love for bad puns. One time he said "fo' sheez" in a sentence, to which I replied "fo' sheez pizza" (four cheese pizza). It's lousy, but he loved it. Then he kept saying "fo' sheez pizza" to me for years, it was our little joke.

We also lost a phenomenal DJ. Whenever a purist naysayer tried to doubt him, I'd reply: "AM's career is where it is for a reason." My man worked hard. I remember an old (admittedly low-fi) version of what was probably his first website. It had the AC/DC-inspired logo and when your mouse hovered over a button it played the classic Kool Moe Dee sample: "I go to WORK!" That exemplified 2 sides of AM: 1) he wasn't a new jack, he loved the old school, and 2) literally, he worked his %!* off! For some reason, in the DJ-geek community AM wasn't necessarily regarded as a turntablist; maybe because he didn't do the DMC's, maybe because he played jiggy clubs. But watch any DJ that used to do the DMC's play in a regular club and watch AM spin, I guarantee you that Adam freaked his records more. Playing those glitzy Hollywood and Las Vegas clubs is not easy, trust me. This guy was DJ'ing in a hostile territory and managed to play the most fast-paced, scratch-happy, genre-hopping sets you could find. He could have easily settled for spinning the hits, but he used to tell me: "I get bored". So he set the bar higher for himself and never stopped striving. He genuinely loved music and DJing. I remember seeing him play at Studio B in New York back in 2007. The first Kid Sister single had just come out and I went there with her. AM played "Damn Girl" when she and I were on stage and after his set I realized that he neither knew that I produced it nor what Kid Sister looked like. In other words he played the song purely because he liked it, and I took that as the biggest compliment of them all. Often times when I played more commercial clubs I used to hold back on the turntablism and whenever he was there he relentlessly urged me to do a routine. I mean he pushed me until I had to do it! He would grab the mic and tell the crowd "A-Trak didn't want to do a routine but I'm forcing him, you guys need to see this" and really got them psyched! Then he'd do air scratches during my juggles.

The first time he pulled that trick on me was at Avalon in 2007, check him out behind me:

The following picture was taken back in 2005. AM invited both Mixmaster Mike and myself to his house to have a scratch session and he was ecstatic. He filmed me doing my "Go DJ" routine and talked to me about it for years after.

AM was not only a great DJ but also a trailblazer, hands down one of the most important DJs in America and this is a topic that's very dear to me as well. I used to DJ just for the sake of it but in recent years by growing older, by starting Fool's Gold and whatnot, I became more concerned with what has an impact on people culturally, and what drives our scene in North America. AM broke down barriers for other DJs. Just a few years back, playing in the celebrity circles where he originally thrived meant having to play Top 40 records exclusively. But every time AM scratched and every time he played a record from "our scene", something a bit more underground or left-field, he opened his audience's ears and eventually opened the doors for the DJs and producers whose tracks he was playing. This had a tremendous impact for us. Remember when Justice beat Kanye at the European VMA's with "We Are Your Friends"? A couple weeks later I was touring overseas with 'Ye and AM hit me on BBM. He said something to the essence of: "Yo that song that your boy %%$%%$% on is actually killing it at my parties!" I think my first reaction, mentally, was: "no $#%*! It already won a VMA". But then I took a step back and realized how significant it was for him to play that record to the mainstream crowds. The floodgates were just starting to crack.

There's only a handful of DJs that have their own style, and there's definitely such a thing as an "AM set". There's a whole army of DJs who play those sets now, and they're booked by the agency that he launched. I'll even go further and say: there's only a handful of DJs that make kids want to start DJing. AM was without a doubt one of these pioneers in America and his absence leaves a huge gap.

The last time I saw AM was at Hard Fest in LA. He was wearing a Fool's Gold shirt and I smiled from ear to ear.

Adam, you changed your life around and stayed on a positive path for years. You touched thousands of people and made them dance night after night. You were a king among DJs, a role model and also a wonderful friend. My thoughts are with your family and loved ones. Rest in peace.

DJ Eli Escobar:

I'm writing this at 3am in my hotel room in San Francisco. I haven't really been able to talk to anyone yet or really deal with what happened today. Before I talk about anything else, first and foremost, I lost one of my best buddies today and that is what hurts the most. But this blog is about music and djing and A.M. was so passionate about both. And such a master of his craft. A trailblazer and a role model to so many young dj's and party people. And at the end of the day it all boiled down to his love of music.

We would spend hours going through new music, and talking about what songs went well together and comparing our set lists. I remember taking a three hour limo ride home from Atlantic City at 4am and, instead of doing what any logical person would do (sleep), trading the music we had heard each other play that night, the whole way home.
A.M. once told me how he felt it was important for working class dj's to get the same kind of respect (and money) in the industry that dance music producers were getting, and I think it is a certain fact that he achieved this. He kicked down doors and let a whole new generation of dj's follow him in. Gladly let them in I might add. He was ambitious as they come and made himself a star, but he also did it because he wanted to see other dj's get what they deserved.
I can count on one hand the amount of people who have unconditionally believed in me and my talent and he was definitely one of them. He exposed my music and edits to more people than anyone else. Even as recent as last week, he would hit me up on BBM and tell me he was playing some edit I made 4 years ago that no one else had and how much he loved it. I don't even know how he got some of those god awful songs!
This brings me to a really important thing that I don't think many people realize... A.M. might have existed in a more mainstream world than some other dj's but I think if anything he probably did more to get underground music heard by the masses than anyone else could have. The truth is, he was one of the biggest dj's in the world and he used that status to introduce people to the underground music that he loved. It takes guts to play music you believe in for a crowd that doesn't necessarily care and he did that every night he played. And like Diplo pointed out on the Mad Decent blog, he never put himself above any situation. When Stretch and I were trying to get our 205 party off the ground and A.M. was in town on a Wednesday he said to me "I'll dj tonight if you think it would help get people out" and we had an amazing night sure enough. This is the difference between a dj's dj and a "celebrity" dj or a superstar dance music dj. He loved what he did more than any other dj I've ever met and until the end he strived to be better and to learn.
The first time I ever dj'd with Adam is a night I'll never forget. It was at Crobar for Bill Spector and for probably the biggest crowd of people I had ever played for at that point. It was for the most part a normal gig until about 10 minutes before his set, I looked in back of me and about 15 of New York's biggest dj's were all standing there waiting to see him go on. He showed up, humble as ever, took over and my jaw proceeded to hit the floor for the next two hours. This was before people were making mash ups or edits for Serato and he was doing every little trick, every blend and every clever routine completely on his own. He worked so damn hard from the minute he started that I really almost felt embarrassed for the way I had been playing before hand. Most importantly though, the energy in the room sky rocketed. And to the most eclectic all over the place non traditional set. It was one time where I knew my position that night had been played. I could have never followed up this man. It really was breath taking and it will stay with me forever. I closed for him and was home by 5am on the phone with Sizzahandz on some "Yo and then when he did that..." or "how do you think he did that?" $#%*. We would play together tons more after that but that one night will forever remain magical in my mind.
There are so many more amazing memories, spending a week at his beautiful house working on our Weezer remix and not going out or djing at all, just kicking it with his cat Mugsy and eating crappy food at 3am, going sneaker shopping in New York, going to our favorite parties on nights off like the Do-Over or Eclipse and Primo at Apt, and mostly just having great talks and discussions. The last time I saw him was shortly after Michael Jackson died and we were trying to remix a !$!@%+ song by the Ting Tings and feeling really uninspired. So we ended up talking about growing up in the 80's, the almost unbearable yearning that heavy nostalgia can bring on and he seemed almost totally consumed by it. I tried to point out that we would probably look back at THIS time in our lives in 20 years and never be able to believe we had it so good. I hope I got through to him on some level and I hope I did all I could. I never thought I wouldn't see him again.

Recently I've been collecting dj sets from the Do-Over. It's a great way to hear dj's from all over the world playing the way they want to play and in a sense, a rite of passage. I emailed Adam and asked him to upload his set for me and of course the first thing he says is "Why? You would wanna hear that?" Of course I would Adam. We all would. Listen to this mix and know it was the man playing music he truly loved, for free, for fun and for the love of djing.
Rest in peace friend.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Belt, 2-3 or even 4 Years.

Back flash, Back without Flash

Front flash, Front no flash