Hip-hop, reggae and dance beats pounded the speakers that were scattered down West Hunting Park Avenue and 10th Street this weekend.
Under their own tents and pavilions, local DJs gathered together to celebrate the close of the summer with a collaboration they call, “Doing It In the Park.” While this event is about unity, Dee Jay Thorpe said the night also gives DJs a chance to showcase their talent, promote themselves and network with each other.
The Hunting Park event marked the end of a Sunday tradition that has been unifying musicians from several generations since the early weeks of April. “You know DJs are competitive, so this is a way to get them together and show their skills,” John Hines said. Hines, who is better known by friends and fans as DJ Jayrock, is the founder of International DJ Cafe and CEO of Music Factory Entertainment. He’s also responsible for putting together the event.
Hines came up in the 1980s music scene during a time when being a DJ wasn’t a glamorous gig. Most DJs carted their records in milk crates to and from parties and performances. Coming from an older generation of DJs, Hines and others want to educate the newer generation. “We wanna set the stage to get back to family values and teach our young DJs how to get proper money and market themselves,” he said.
Since it is held in a public place, “Doing it in the Park ” provides the participating DJs with an opportunity to perform for an audience of about 150 people who may not otherwise be exposed to the music. As a female artist, Deara Chambers, known as DJ Dior Cartel, said she appreciates the crowd’s reception. “I feel a lot of love since I’m a girl,” she said.
Tracy Church, known by his peers as “Church,” has lived in Hunting Park for 20 years and says he has seen a definite change in the atmosphere and appearance of the park over the past decade. “There have been no incidents and no problems,” he said of the event.