Omar Julio, better known in the club scene as DJ Power, has reunited with David Porras, known as DJ Impact, to form Da Big Boyz. The two will perform a live set together for the first time in almost four years on Friday, June 17, at Club Iguanas-Ranas in Tijuana.
The DJ duo was once known as the House Warriors. Their appearances "revolved around house music in the club scene." Since then, Porras and Julio have been performing solo at clubs and private events throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, Tijuana, and Rosarito. "We now play a variety of hip-hop, house, punk, crunk, and reggaeton."
Crunk music originated in the South (specifically, in Atlanta, Georgia, where its birth is attributed to musical artist Lil Jon) and was made popular by songs like Usher's "Yeah" and 8Ball & MJG's "You Don't Want Drama" and "Look at the Grillz." According to Slate, an online magazine, "The lurching beats and bellowed choruses of Southern crunk have become 2004's defining pop sound." Julio refers to it as "hard-core hip-hop."
Reggaeton is defined on wikipedia.org as "a Spanish-language genre of dancehall with distinct hip-hop and pop-music influences, originating in Panama." Julio describes reggaeton as being similar to "Latin rap with a reggae type of beat," or "Spanish reggae," though lyrics are often in English.
Da Big Boyz have named their four-turntable show the Hip-Hop Master Mix. "Both of us do the scratching," says Julio. For anyone who hasn't been to a club in 20 years, scratching is the sound made when a DJ moves a vinyl record back and forth by hand while the record is playing. "You kind of take a person through a ride -- you might start off with a bang [a popular song on the radio] and then all of a sudden drop in a quick old-school hip-hop mix that brings back memories. We might hit 'em with one song that's mostly for the ladies...guys tend to like something that's more gangsta, like Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg."
Julio and Porras have picked up at least eight sponsors while marketing their comeback. On average, sponsors contribute around $100 to help pay for promotional flyers and posters and up to $200 of donated items that will be given away at the show. Sponsors include Puropedo No Worries Wear, Lefty's Tattoo Parlor & Body Piercing, and Connection Point, a store that sells car stereos and televisions.
"Most events you go to, they say they're going to give stuff away, but if you go, you're lucky if you even see someone holding [a giveaway] like a T-shirt or glow stick. We invest a lot in our events," says Julio. At their upcoming show, 2000 glow sticks and toys, purchased by the Boyz, will be given to clubgoers along with sponsor giveaways.
The Boyz have spent approximately $5000 in the past two months to pay for flyers, posters, and supplies. Depending on the turnout at Iguanas-Ranas, they stand to make about $500. "We might only make a hundred bucks or a thousand, but it's great exposure. If the club is packed, the management will pay." The managers of Iguanas-Ranas were unavailable for comment.
Flyers have been passed out at Southwestern College and San Diego State University, and posters have been displayed at all sponsor locations. The Boyz are expecting a diverse crowd. "For all of our events, [our philosophy] is basically 'mixed drinks, mixed music, and mixed crowd,'" says Julio. "We'll get some of the local crowd down there, but we're expecting a lot of San Diegans."
MC Snatch, who regularly appears on Jammin Z90 (90.3 FM), will be a special guest DJ at the show. Opening acts include DJ Ru, "who's into beat juggling and scratching," and the Reggaeton Co-Stars. The Boyz have been practicing their Hip-Hop Master Mix. "There may be a time where I'm operating one [turntable] and Impact will be working on three -- the one will be scratching and the other will be mixing in the vocals. Depending on the flow, if we feel we need to change it up, there may be a point in time when one of us is handling all four [turntables]." -- Barbarella
Da Big Boyz Summer Kickoff Party
Friday, June 17
8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Third and Revolución
Cost: $5 men; women free
Info: 619-241-3562 or www.dabigboyz.com