2007 World DMC Team Finals

London 2007

It started in the nineties when the 2 of us each saw a DMC battle video for the first time. Back then it was VHS. We both didn’t know at the time that it would become an obsession, and neither did we know of each other. But what we did know was that one day we would be at that level and battle for the country.

We later met in 2000 and saw a lot of each other at gigs, changing over between our sets. C3, Carfax and Horror Café were some of the spots we kicked it at back then. We both hung out with C-live and set up decks and had a couple scratch sessions.

 The two of us got the feel for team or band scratching and took it from there. We opened for DJ Woody (inventor of the Wood Pecker scratch and ITF Champ) at Carfax in 2004 after we were approached by the promoter to collaborate on that night.

 It was from there that we decided to form a team/band. We dedicated a lot of time to the art form and learned as a team pushing each other to do more technical DJing. Hoping that one day we could show case our stuff at the DMC.

After many years of waiting and training, eventually there has a glimmer of DMC hope when a guy who we will call “the Larry’ in Cape Town who had the rights to host the South African DMC told us he’d be holding the battle last year (2007) and sending the winners of the team and the singles events to London for the final (Oct). So word got round and some of the best S.A. turntablists gathered to do battle in Cape-Town in August.

As there was no Jozi regional or leg, we had to fork out the cash for 2 tickets to Cape-Town which we thought was worth it ‘cause we were confident.

After taking 1st in the team (Idol Hands) and 1st in singles (Redwood) we were really happy with the results. We then spoke to the guy who told us to pack our bags for London…..Until 2 weeks before the World final, we had heard nothing from ‘the Larry’, so panic kicked in. We had been upgrading our set for 3 months and were ready to go, but had a good feeling ‘the Larry’ would let us down so we started begging, borrowing and hustling cash from all directions.

A week before the battle we spoke to ‘the Larry’ who still told us not to worry, but we were nervous to say the least.

Two days before, we bought the tickets our selves, flew to London and then the fun began.  Just getting there was winning for us.

Day 1

On the Friday of the battle weekend, all the DJ’s had to meet at the hotel for the introduction ceremony and draws for the placing of DJ’s battle order. Niffty decided to do the supremacy (one on one knock out) event and drew Mexico in the first round. Idol Hands was drawn to open the team battles (out of 9 teams). Redwood was drawn to go 9th in the Eliminations of the singles battle (out of 22) in the singles 6 min’s. Conversation was interesting and the energy was positive but tense as these were the DJ’s that we had to battle over the next weekend and were the best DJ’s gathered from around the world to battle for respect and rep their countries.

Day 2

Saturday came and the battle was on. Supremacies were up first. Niffty went first with a scratch and juggle routine and owned it. Jimmix, the Mexican competitor answered with a juggle routine. Then Niffty did a juggle routine,  Jimmix fired back with a sick scratch and juggle routine.  The Judges decided that Jimmix won but Niffty felt he could have got him with one the routines he was saving for the final. Big up’s to Niffty and Jimmix, it was a tight battle.

In the finals it was Shiftee (U.S.A) vs Or D’Oeuvre (France). Original vinyl vs Custom vinyl. This was one of the sickest battles ever. Shiftee took the World Supremacy title and a cheque for $10 000 U.S. from Ortofon with his originality and ‘keep it hip-hop attitude’ against custom made high energy elecro sounding vinyls accurately controlled by his French adversary. Both DJ’s were the ultimate in battle DJing.

Later the team event took place. We (Idol Hands) were up first and had been running through the set in the practice room for a while before and were feeling confident.

We pulled our set off the way we planned it and executed our body tricks, scratches and Juggles better than we had ever done in practice.

We were happy with the performance and got respect from the other teams.

Kireek (Japan) took the cheque for $10 000 U.S from Ortophon and a place in history as DMC team champs. Exodus (Germany) came 2nd but many people thought they should have come 1st. So the beef was high backstage the next day, which was when the singles were to take place.

Day 3

It started off in the afternoon. The 22 singles competitors including Redwood started, warming up. It was a battle back stage for the right to warm up on one of the set ups.

Niffty was happy he got asked to judge the eliminations and final and didn’t have to be in the brawls. Each DJ went in the order they were given. When it got to Redwood he was ready for war and had his ammo locked and loaded.

3 mins was the allotted time for elimination sets so Red did the most intense 3 min of the 6 that he had planned, which consisted of juggling, scratching, toning with simultaneous drumming and cross handed techniques including the ‘Red Cross’.

‘I had fun being up there. A lot of experience was gained and I finally got to represent my country and showcase my skill on a world level after 4 years of being the S.A. champ.’ – Redwood

Niffty was amazed to be sitting with DJ Netic (the reigning champ), C2C, the 4 time team champs from France, and most of the previous champions and facing the daunting task of judging a competition he had been aspiring to take part in for years.

DJ Rafik (Germany) took the World singles final and won 2 golden turntables and gold mixer from technics, Ortofon gold concord stylus and a cheque for $10 000 U.S. from Ortofon.

Then at the after party where C2C were spinning up a storm on 4 turntables and all the competitors could relax knowing they did their countries proud, lots of networking was done in a nice party atmosphere.

We mingled and chatted with D-styles, Mike Boo, Teeko, Cut Master Swift, Killa – Kella, and many more big names in Hip Hop culture including the previous champs from the judge’s bench.

All in all we were so happy to have overcome the trial and tribulations that occurred before we left and to have had the opportunity to battle on a world stage and make history in becoming the first South African team in the DMC’s, Niffty being the first ever South African in the Supremacy and Redwood becoming the first S.A DJ to appear on the official DVD.

We ain’t done yet.

To this day we have not heard back from ‘The Larry’ who promised to refund us for what he promised to provide….R20 000. This was a task completed on our own and we feel proud to have put S.A on the world turntablism map and back in the World DMC after an absence of 10 years.


–  One on One with an SA legend.

– ”So Niffty, how’d it start?”

I first started djing in late 1999. I moved to England in 2000 where I attended a few lessons at the Technics DJ Academy in Manchester. I travelled extensively during this time and perfected my mixing skills at venues such as, “The Dry Bar” in Manchester and “Madame Jo Jo’s” in London.  This gave me a great deal of confidence and ability to read a crowd. I realized then that this was going to be my passion and a life long journey into music.  When I returned to JHB I instantly sought out work in the music industry and become a resident  DJ at C3 and mixed at the “One Love Movement” parties and other major Hip Hop events.

– ‘What you been doing since then?’

Since then I have been mastering the arts of DJing ,Scratching and Beat Juggling at the following venues. O2 dome London,KOKO, London- Fiction Bar Cape Town -London Calling  • The Baseline • Zulu Bar   • Tempos • Truth • Songwritters Club • The Arm chair Theatre • Mercury bar-Atmosphere-Red Café • Roxys,

These are just a few; I have played at loads of other venues as well. In 2002 I mixed on Yfm, where I won a battle on Bad Boy T and Lee’s Harambe show beating some of the countries best hip hop DJ’s!  I played on that show several times prior to my success, as well as AK’s the Joint numerous times.

– ”So what happened when you blew up”

I was one of the first DJ’s on the TV show The Shiz Nizz (SA”s longest running hip hop show) and have since made regular appearances.  I have also played on The O Boma TV show, Channel O DSTV and other TV appearances include Jip, Stook, GoTV, Go Zone TV.

In 2005, my close friend and brother in arms, DJ Redwood and I decided to merge, forming the successful Idol Hands Table Band which is now one of South Africa’s most well respected turntable crews which has played gigs all over the country and received a standing ovation at the Hype Magazine party in April 2006.
In 2007 the Idol Hands crew won all the dj battle’s in the African Hip Hop Indaba too.  Which qualified us to compete in the World DMC’s’s!!! We put S.A on the turntablist map! By competing in all three DMC events and let the world know S.A is also a formidable contender!

– ”So what are you doing right now after all that?”

Right now,I am the 2008,2009 and 2010 JHB DMC Champion.  I am also now the current 2010 South African DMC DJ CHAMPION and represented South Africa at the World DMC DJ Competition in London.also workin on many projects and tours galore so keep lookin out and supportin

-” What are your chances at DMC?”

I have played with some of the worlds best DJ’s like DJ Craze(3 Time DMC battle winner)DJ Woody (ITF and Vestex champion and inventor of the woodpecker scratch) Tim Westwood (world famous radio 1 hip hop DJ from London, Wordworth, Mos Deff, Mac Lethal,DJ Krush and Killa Kella. I recently last year played at a sponsored event by MTN feat Wycleff Jean (Fugees). So i think my chances are good to bring some SA flavour to the world scene.

– Thanks for taking a minute – Dj Niffty!!

Check out more at: www.facebook.com/djniffty