Monday, August 31, 2009
Adam Michael and Adam Michael
Adam and I met at Aron's Records close to fifteen years ago.
We had a running joke that he swore I was an asshole to him.
I swore I wasn't. We'd always laugh about it.
We come from a time in Los Angeles when not everyone was a DJ. We were two up and coming DJs that primarily worked in different worlds: I did mostly urban parties for ball players, R&B singers, rappers, etc., and AM was more on the Hollywood side of things.
Eventually our paths would cross when we ended up doing different rooms on the same night at Nightwatch, a club atop the building at the corner of Sunset and Vine. We still didn't know each other very well, but I would often sneak into his room to hear the dope shit he was playing. I knew at that point he was going to be a big DJ.
He and I came from the school of thought that you could rock a party while still maintaining your integrity; that while giving the crowd what they wanted there was still room for music that may not be well known as well as showing creativity on the fly.
Just play dope shit and do what you were hired to do - make people dance and have fun.
One day a mutual friend approached us and asked if we'd like to "battle" each other. We agreed. The battle was to take place in a month’s time. According to Adam, he practiced everyday.
I however, was never informed of the precise date of the battle until the day it was supposed to go down, the problem being, I’d been booked to spin for Shaq's birthday party and couldn’t leave him hanging. To make a long story short, I did not go to the famous "battle that never was." I heard from people who were there that he had said some pretty nasty things on the mic, as he was obviously upset for having practiced so much for nothing.
Over ten years later he would tell me that looking back, he was grateful for the days leading up to the event, that the motivation and inspiration that came from the hours and hours of practice for the battle were the foundation of what would become his quest to be the best DJ he could possibly be.
For years after this night that never happened, we had what some would call "beef". Whenever we'd see each other, we would exchange words and a few times almost came to blows. Underneath it all, the competition was motivating us to outdo each other.
The beef would all come to an end one fateful Hanukkah evening at Las Palmas, when I went up to him and said, "I have one thing to say to you".
He turned red and clenched his fists, preparing for what may have been our first real fight.
"Happy Hanukkah", I said.
We laughed and hugged, and from that point on, we never had another bad feeling towards one another, only laughs and good times.
We ended up DJ’ing together from time to time, and would have the best time going “one for one”, playing hip-hop classics and trying to one-up each other. Always trying to one-up each other.
He would ultimately one-up everyone by becoming, in my humble opinion, the best DJ of all time.
Over the years we pushed each other to become better DJs.
He not only inspired me to be a better DJ, but also to be a better person.
I never had as much fun spinning with anyone as I had with Adam.
I will miss him dearly and will think of him often.