Sunday, August 30, 2009

DJ AM- THE KING - R.I.P.




Its taken me a couple days to begin to process this all... Here goes:

The first time I had the opportunity to play with AM, he brought DR and I to LAX a few years ago to play an early Banana Split night. He insisted on opening for us. DJ AM played at 10pm to allow us newbies to play later and to get some shine. Who does that? AM does that. He played for like 10 people in his own club and, as always, played so dope - cutting, blending playing cool shit he loved. The last show I played with Adam was in Edmonton a few months ago, and I got stuck playing some side room that was empty. He came and sat behind me. I was bummed and when I kind of joked about how lame it was, he said seriously "Who cares? play some records you like! You are getting paid to practice - that's so dope". Who AM I to whine to The KING about when I play or to whom I play to...? His attitude was always like that. He was happy to let someone else shine. And in spite of being at the TOP, he practiced his craft relentlessly and didn't care whether he was playing to thousands of people or to no people. For DJs coming up: AM is not only better than you, he has left us, hungrier, egoless, and working harder than any of you. Some DJs have tried to talk about celebrity status or about this or that or "he's not thaaat good"... I've always said, that he is SO good that I lose a little respect for a DJ who even suggests otherwise. To me, DJ AM is the BEST DJ, hands down.


In Edmonton April 2009

I first connected with Adam because he reached out on myspace to ask for some of our songs. I was like 'wow as if this guy is hitting us up randomly'. Later, as I got to know him, I would realize that no DJ was too small or too different for him to interact with. He broke our first songs we ever put out. Still, i get emails from DJs asking for my remixes, reading 'DJ AM played this and told me to hit you up if I wanted it". This is what first broke us in the US. Although a big commercial DJ, many do not realize how many records, artists and DJs AM has helped to bring to the world. He hunted for new music like no other DJ I know.

AM was maybe a music fan before even being a DJ. He LOVED music. I mean, he really FELT it and really searched for it. In this crazy diverse time, many DJs or producers feel that they have to define themselves either as being into one specific kind of new music or as an 'oldschool head' who hates all this new blog stuff - both types often hating the other. AM was both and hated no one. He was simultaneously the quintessential old-school head, and yet SO on top of every single thing going on in new club music. For a DJ/producer like me, here's a guy at the top of the game, helping to make sense of it all. Thank you homie for being a true MUSIC LOVER (and never a hater!)



As much as it is hard to lose a buddy, and a game-changing talent, it also sucks to lose a mentor that I looked up to in every way. Adam was a top notch human being. He seemed comfortable with his place at the top... but so humble and always exuding class. He always had time to chat about music and and would give relatively insignificant DJs like myself advice and encouragement that has meant so much. Even little things. Like every time that dude hit me up on BBM saying he was running one of my songs, or hit me up asking to send him that "new heat"... I dont think I ever expressed to him how much that meant. He obviously knew though. Just him telling me that he started his set with my song, or telling me my set killed it... Maybe it might seem trivial to some people, but these kind words, at the right time, would sometimes take me from feeling so negative about this business, to feeling so good about music. When we really feel it, we all gotta take the time sometimes to tell someone their DJ set or their music is amazing. No telling what that may mean to an artist. Thank you homie for just plain being supportive. Awwwww yeaaaahhhh!


For people who were lucky enough to know him, even briefly, Adam was the friendliest guy. A joker for sure, but never a hater. Never anything negative to say about anyone. Over and above AM's love of music or his style of DJing, we have to strive to keep AM's legacy alive by striving to be better people. By striving to being selfless in this world full of selfishness. By striving to be kind in this game full of haters. For me personally, starting the Eh! Team, opening our little club Blue Dog, and even starting my label - these are all inspired by AM's passion for music and for using what he has done to help good break good DJs and good music. I am humbled by this, and will forever be inspired by how he has helped us and so many others. There are so few people, especially in the position AM reigned, that share the man's selflessness and positivity... Its hard to even say how this loss will affect the industry.

Addiction is a critical disease, and Adam struggled with it daily. When I was with him last, he told me that, even after all these years, staying sober was something that he fought with every single day. Something he thought about every day. In our world of clublife, Adam was surrounded by alcohol and drugs constantly. Tested constantly. And he succeeded against the odds for so long. He was obviously in so much pain. And since the plane accident, it is hard to even measure what he must have been going through. Still, he endeavored to help many people get sober. The MTV show he has been filming revolved around helping kids get sober. He also had told me recently that the filming of this show is both "rewarding and yet, the hardest thing ever..." His close friend DJ Homicide posted that MTV interview which was saying similar stuff... i cannot imagine how hard it was for him.

My most heartfelt condolences to Adam's family and loved ones. And to my LA/NY crew, who I know are all hurting so much right now, keep your head up.

KING AM, may your legacy will live on through the people you have touched. We will miss you, homie.

Rest In Peace, Adam.

8 comments:

ToniAnn said...

Very true. AM was a king in his own right and will be forever missed. May he finally now be at peace.

tito bongski said...

thanks for sharing this with us chief! keep yer head up..

pmini said...

Beautiful post, Aaron. My condolences. - Padmini

CHOPS said...

Well said bro...

alissa said...

nice post Aaron

Wondermike said...

Thx for sharing. a great message to us all...

JR-FLO said...

Great post... Didn't know homie.. but I think he influenced everyone despite who admits it. Just sayin.... Still sad about this.

ronnie said...

MUCH RESPECT BOYZ!!! CANADA STAND UP!!