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DMC US Finals 2013 Review, Results & Photos
DMC US Finals 2013 Review, Results & Photos

2013 DMC US Finals DJ Battle: Review, Results & Photos!

Saturday Aug. 3, 2013 @ Stage 48 NYC

Results from Christie Z-Pabon: DMC USA

Click Here To View The Photos


Actual review from Billy Jam (Hip Hop Slam) – Hip Hop Historian, Radio Host, World Hip Hop Connoisseur


photos by Ignacio Soltero


photos by Ming Han:


photos by Christie Z-Pabon – DMC USA/ Tools of War grassroots Hip Hop


They haven’t posted yet (8/11) but check the following photographers pages too!

photos by Joe Conzo:


photos by Francisco Reyes of



Brooklyn’s DJ Esquire Took US Title In Heated, High Caliber 2013 US DMC Finals DJ Battle


Originally posted at


DJ Esquire took the 2013 US DMC Finals title over the weekend in New York at a packed Stage 48 nightclub with DJs Spare Change and Ease taking second and third places respectively in an entertaining evening that featured inspired six minute sets by each of the 13 US contestants, event host Kool DJ Red Alert providing funny banter, great sets by the special guest performer DJs Rockin Rob, Johnny Juice, and DJ Izoh, plus a surprise moment of true turntablist romance when New Mexico contestant OHM proposed to his girlfriend.

New York City DJ Esquire became a hometown hero Saturday night at the Hells Kitchen district club when garnered the most votes to take the new title at the 2013 US DMC Finals following a heated, high caliber DJ battle featuring 13 turntable talents from all across the country,. This achievement, that he earned despite his needle breaking toward the end of his intense six minute routine, means that the Brooklyn DJ will travel to London, England to represent the US in the DMC World DJ Championship 2013 finals on October 5th [at Indig02]. Saturday night's talent-packed battle presented somewhat of a dilemma for all the judges, myself included, since the talent was so great that it was incredibly tough in making that final decision of narrowing it down to just three DJs. Truth is that each of the other ten DJ contestants also delivered incredibly impressive sets and, it could be argued, that any one of them deserved to have ranked in the final three. I was not alone in this summation since, after the battle, talking to such fellow judges as Roli Rho, DJ Cheese, DJ Shiftee, and Snayk Eyez - all of whom had chosen different top threes – the consensus was that it was too challenging task to narrow it down to a top three. Snayk Eyez summed the battle and the content of the competitors up best when he noted how each competitor was 100% on their game with their skills down to perfection meaning that then, "It all came down to delivery, presentation, showmanship," said the visiting Bay Area DJ/judge.  

Indeed all the other ten DJs killed it too from the very first two opening contestants: DJ LES and Etronik  - both of whom many felt should/have been in the top three. Same for the other eight that traveled to humid New York City for this respected, long running DJ battle - now celebrating 30 years. The other turntable talents that made to the national level included El Abstrakto from "the 305," DJ Traps from the Bay Area, Concept from Florida, Seattle's The Beat Molester, Portland's Flip Flop, NorCal's Chuck Flava, DC's As One, and groom to be OHM from New Mexico.  Host of the battle Kool DJ Red Alert, who was funny and informative, kept the proceedings moving along at a nice pace and also reminded folks that hip-hop was celebrating its 40th year anniversary with a big event in Central Park in one week on August 10th with Kool Herc - the creator of the genre that was ultimately responsible for the night's event.

Before the battle I talked with the talented DJ Traps who had flown in from Cali the night before with his family from the Bay Area. Despite not getting a full night's rest and adjusting to the humid NYC temps he said that he felt relaxed and confident. "I had time to do two practice sets," he said nodding to one of the turntable set ups on the club stage. The Beat Molester had also flown out the day before from the West Coast; from Seattle, WA with a chance to take the title for the Great North West but that was not his main priority he told me. "This is a great opportunity to battle the best DJs in the country. I want to win but I feel I have already won by being out here. I just want to do my best and come off clean," he said. DJ Snayk Eyez was also out from the Bay Area. "I'm excited to be back here. I was here last year and that was the biggest and best and most exciting DMC in years. And this year will be even better I think," said the longtime Bay Area club and battle DJ - member of the 89 Skratch Gangstaz and Skratchpad member who has already headed back to the Bay Area for the big ten year anniversary of Skratchpad on Thursday (August 8th) at Neck of the Woods in SF. 

As usual USA DMC CEO Christie Z Pabon was mad busy on Saturday running round making sure the event would go off smoothly which it did - an accomplishment when producing such a large scale DJ battle with so many set changes and variables to contend with. Amazingly Christie Z, whose support team on Saturday included her husband/Tools of War partner and respected hip-hop figure Popmaster Fabel and DMC organizer Marilyn Alonzo, somehow even found time before the battle to bake up several batches of tasty cookies for contestants and judges to snack on during the long evening. Starting things out after the doors opened at 5pm was the Bronx's DJ Rockin Rob (sporting a Daly City Cue's "Keep Vinyl Alive" red t-shirt) doing a killer set of 45 funk records. 
For the DMC battle each contestant was to be judged on scratching, beat juggling, showmanship, stage presence, composition, creativity, originality, execution, technicality, and musicality. Up first was DJ Les from Phoenix AZ who was doing it "blind" as in keeping his laptop out of his view for his amazing six minute routine that ended with him playing the Biggie sample "beating muthafuckas like Ike beat Tina." Up next was Etronik - the SoCal DJ who enters a lot of battles and always delivers great sets. In fact he won the 2013 DMC NYC Regional battle a couple of months back which landed him back in New York for this battle in which his killer routine prompted Red Alert to laud the LA area DJ with the ultimate praise: "You a bad muthafucka!"

Spare Change from Dayton Ohio (who won Nashville DMC preliminary battle) displayed a nice original flavored set with some well thought out samples. Then half way into his set he surprised all when he completely discarded his laptop ("computer") assisted flow by resorting to vinyl only. Again host Red Alert was impressed: so much so that he led a shout and response with the (by now) packed house "When I say Spare - you say Change" he said to the crowd who happily complied shouting along with him. Right after the next DJ, El Abstrakto from "the 305" Miami FL, did his set -  fellow judge and renowned DJ Roli Rho of 5th Platoon fame mentioned how impressed he was with the caliber and obvious hunger of each contestant to date: "They all really want to win. They are all hungry and so talented too!," he said. Up next was the winner of the San Francisco DMC Regional from a few months ago DJ Traps from the Bay Area and repping San Jose which prompted Red Alert to sing a few bars from "Do you know the way to San Jose." Just as his winning set back in San Francisco Regional a few months previous had impressed attendees so too was this diverse set that included some Bay flavor and some punk rock too but ultimately the Bay Area DJ felt - as confirmed by his own Facebook postings following the battle - that he didn't give his finest performance based on his personal standards in which he had hoped to win something after traveling cross country. However he still did real good since, when the final votes were tallied, he ranked in fourth position based on votes/points by the judges.

Up next was DJ Concept from Florida followed by OHM from Albuquerque, New Mexico who proved he is a lover and not just a fighter/battler - when, after his impassioned six minute set, took the mic from host Red Alert to say how "The love of my life" is in the audience. He then surprised her (Amy) and the entire house by whipping out an engagement ring and from the stage proposing marriage. With a look of utter surprise and tears of joy Amy shook her head and said "Yes" and they kissed.  "I respect that," commented Red Alert afterward. "This is a feel good battle." Next was runner up DJ Ease from Rochester NY whose set included a sweet reworking of Dead Prez's "Hip Hop." Seattle representative The Beat Molester's name got a laugh out of Red Alert while his noise (lots of metal and punk) fueled six minute sonic assault set him apart from the other contestants. Also repping the West Coast was Flip Flop from Portland, OR whose DJ tag inspired Red Alert to offer "I know I got a crazy name but what the fuck is Flip Flop?" - "Oh I see" he said relaying to the audience what the DJ had told him off mic -  that he is half Filipino and half white which is why he chose the name Flip Flop. Other contestants included DJ Chuck Flava who is from Chico CA but who won the Denver Regionals to make it to this level, As One from DC who killed it in his routine.   The tenth of the thirteen contestants to perform at the New York City venue was the only NYC contestant; DJ Esquire from Brooklyn who was the clear crowd favorite of the battle with everyone loudly chanting his name and cheering him along before he got onstage and into his inspired six minutes which won him the most points of the night from the judges. When, later on as the results were announced, and Red Alert read Esquire's name as the new US national champ the DJ, known for been most self-confident and throwing up the middle finger to detractors, gingerly made his way up onto the stage, atypically teary-eyed, and in genuine shock and surprise. He told this to the audience citing the fact that his needle broke in his set as a reason he didn't think he had a chance of winning. But after composing himself he soon returned to his usual confident self - promising all that he would do his country proud in the DMC World Championships in London - which prompted the hyped audience of admirers to chant "USA, USA, USA…." 


End of Billy Jam’s article



Beginning of Christie Z-Pabon’s writing


2013 DMC US Finalists included


DJ LES: Phoenix AZ -

DJ Etronik: Los Angeles CA -

DJ SpareChange: Dayton OH -

El Abstrakto: Miami FL -

DJ Traps: San Jose CA -

DJ Concept: Cape Corral FL  -

DJ Ohm: Albuquerque NM -

DJ Ease: Rochester NY -

The Beat Molester: Seattle WA -

 DJ Esquire: Brooklyn NY -

DJ FlipFlop: Portland OR  -

DJ Chuck Flava: Chico CA -

DJ As-One: Washington DC -


Our panel of 9 prestigious judges included


DJ Billy Jam (Ireland/CA/NY) – Hip Hop historian – Hip Hop Slam


DJ Cheese (NJ) – 1986 DMC World Champ


DJ Izoh (Japan) – 2012 DMC World Champ


DJ Jazzy Joyce – DMC Hall of Famer + New Music Seminar DJ Battle Finalist


DJ Perseus (RI) – 2005 DMC US Champ


DJ Roli Rho (NY) – former DMC US Finalist & member of 5th Platoon


DJ Shiftee (NY) – 2009 DMC World Champ + 2007 DMC World Supremacy Champ


DJ Slyce (NJ) – 1997 & 2008 DMC US Champ + 2008 DMC World Vice Champ


DJ Snayk Eyez (CA) – 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champ


1st place = 3 points

2nd place = 2 pts

3rd place = 1 pt


1st DJ Esquire: 2 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 3 = 11 pts

2nd DJ SpareChange: 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 = 10 pts

3rd DJ Ease: 1 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 10 pts

4th DJ Traps: 1 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 7 pts

5th DJ As-One: 2 + 2 + 1 = 5 pts

6th DJ Concept: 3 + 1 = 4 pts

7th DJ LES = 3 pts

8th DJ FlipFlop: 1 + 2 = 3 pts

9th DJ Etronik = 1 pt



Judge #1

1st: Esquire

2nd: FlipFlop

3rd: Traps


Judge #2

1st: Esquire

2nd: Ease

3rd: Traps


Judge #3

1st: SpareChange

2nd: Traps

3rd: Etronik


Judge #4

1st: SpareChange

2nd: Ease

3rd: Esquire


Judge #5

1st: SpareChange

2nd: As-One

3rd: FlipFlop


Judge #6

1st: Traps

2nd: Ease

3rd: Concept


Judge #7

1st:  LES

2nd: Esquire

3rd: SpareChange


Judge #8

1st: Ease

2nd: Esquire

3rd: As-One


Judge #9

1st: Concept

2nd: As-One

3rd: Ease


After the battle, we saw the immediate response from West Coast facebook friends (who were not at the battle) who jumped to conclusions about biased judging.


I am happy to dispel the myth that East Coast judges favor East Coast DJs…

Fact:  Of the 6 judges from the East Coast who judged the 2013 DMC US Finals

3 voted for DJ SpareChange from Ohio/Illinois in 1st  (OH/IL is MID-West)

1 voted for DJ Concept from Florida in 1st.  (FL is South)

1 voted for DJ Traps from San Jose CA (CA on the West Coast)

and ONLY 1 East Coast judge voted for DJ Esquire from Brooklyn in 1st


We are very proud of our East Coast judges/friends for being so unbiased!  In fact, on May 3rd a panel of almost entirely NY/NJ judges voted for DJ Etronik, from Los Angeles CA to win BOTH the DMC NYC battle AND the DMC Battle for US Supremacy.

I hope more arm chair critics will eventually realize that DMC USA only invites the best of the best to judge and those judges have proven themselves to be sound, solid and very attentive!


I would like to thank each and every person who supported the 2013 DMC US Finals – whether they competed, judged, filmed, photographed, hosted, performed, sponsored, organized a regional or showed support by paying to get in plus everyone who simply shared the flyer, info, and helped spread the word that the biggest battle in the USA was going down at Stage 48 on Aug. 3!!


Since I returned to DMC USA in 2008, thanks to the dedication of everyone who never gave up on DJ battles and turntablism and thanks to sponsors like Rane who funded our crazy DJ battle addiction, the DMC US Finals have only gotten better each year. This year we staged 13 regionals and 3 national battles! Our community is stronger too – often you will see battle DJs from every generation at our battles and a US Finals is simply a giant whos who in the US and World DJ Battle scenes!


And look at our track record

2008: 1997 DMC US Champ: DJ Slyce wins and takes 2nd in the 2008 World Finals!!

2009: DJ Shiftee, the only US DJ with a DMC World Supremacy title wins 09 World

2010 – we did well but not 1st or 2nd that year – usually we make top 4
2011:  DJ Vajra returns to the battleground, wins the US and wins the 2011 Worlds
2012: DJ Precision wins the US and takes 2nd in the 2012 World Finals. He has been invited to defend at the 2013 DMC World Finals, as Japan’s DMC World Champ: Izoh has announced that he will not be defending


It was so good to have Kool DJ Red Alert hosting! I know many competitors are going to have Red’s voice sampled in their next battle routines!!  Rockin’ Rob & Chuck City were awesome and inspirational party rockers –  pure 45s all day long! DJ Johnny Juice – your favorite scratcher from Public Enemy – rocked a killer set and of course DMC World Champ DJ Izoh did more than his fair share by lending his judging expertise and rocking a World class showcase!!


Special thanks to the NYC DJ Schools: Dubspot and Scratch DJ Academy whose students are over the top in enthusiasm for seeing their instructors battle!


- First – all praises due to God for granting us a perfect day and a successful battle!

- Much gratitude to my right hand assistant/friend/rock of stability, Marilyn Alonzo!

- Major props to DJ Precision & Dubspot DJ School who provided tech support and the gear for the battle.  DJ Precision practically ran the battle by organizing the DJs according to what set up they should be on!

- Thanks to our tireless photographers: Ignacio Soltero, Ming Han, Joe Conzo and Francisco Reyes! Photographers are the new journalists and they COVER battles!

- Immense Respect to Noisemaker Media: Mark Carranceja, Malik Honor, Justin Denmark and the crew for their professional and perfectionistic documenting of our battles!!

- Thanks to Darnell Franklin aka DJ Dopeman for keeping time at the US Finals!!

- Thanks to all of the promoters who threw DMC Regional DJ Battles this year and sent a champ to the US Finals include Bebe (Miami), Casselman’s & DJ Lazy Eyez (Denver), Dres tha Beatnik (Atlanta), Trinity/Guy & Skratch Lounge (Seattle), Greg Schick & Magee (Hartford), Mia Johnson & Donnie Dee (San Antonio), Tony Skratchere (New Orleans), Coolin’ Out & Fact 135 (Phoenix), DJ Debonair (Nashville), Ron Sterling (Los Angeles), DJ Cue & Skratchpad (San Francisco) and Urban Artisty/Emily and Beat Refinery (DC).

- Thanks to everyone who judged and hosted and partyrocked and showcased and help keep time this year!!!!

- I hope I didn’t forget to specifically thank anyone, it is not my intention to leave anyone out!


2013 DMC US Finals Prizes! 


DJ Esquire won

a Rane Sixty-Two Z mixer ($2650 retail)


Custom Shure Gold M44-7s

Stanton STR8.150 Turntables

Shure SRH750DJ Headphones

Shure Record Bag

Shure Cartridge Carrying Case


Custom DMC branded headshells from Smokin Shells

Sennheiser Day & Night headphones

Plus round trip flight & hotel to Europe to rep the USA in the 2013 DMC World DJ Championships - courtesy of Rane.

Prize package from Elite Philosophy

Prize package from 12inchSkinz

2nd place: DJ SpareChange won
a pair of Shure M44-7 cartridges
Shure Cartridge Carrying Case
Custom DMC branded headshells from Smokin Shells. 
Prize package from Elite Philosophy
Prize package from 12inchSkinz

3rd Place: DJ Ease won
a pair of Shure M44-7 cartridges
Custom DMC branded headshells from Smokin Shells
Prize package from Elite Philosophy
Prize package from 12inchSkinz


Ignacio Soltero:

Joe Conzo:

Francisco Reyes:

Ming Han:




DMC ONLINE DJ Championships

OFFICIAL DMC World Youtube Channels 
Classic 6 min. battles:

Supremacy aka Head to Head:


Classic 3 min. eliminations:


Tools of War grassroots Hip Hop

Sign up for the Tools of War grassroots Hip Hop Newsletter:



Christie Z-Pabon


Thanks to Empire Guides for including the DMC US Finals in their listings!


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