Lines around the block. Club owners intent that you need to be the one spinning their party nights. Legions of people moving to the groove you’ve concocted. To many amateurs wishing to edge in on the local DJ scene, this is more than a dream. It’s an ideal. But for veteran DJ Mr. Brown, a fixture known nationwide for having premier taste in all things melodic, it was beginning to look like a nightmare. One of our city’s sole vinyl-only DJ’s in a culture where everyone with a MacBook thinks they’re a songsmith, Mr. Brown noticed that, while areas like Wynwood were exploding, the rates he and his fellow spinners were paid remained stagnant. “Most clubs pay, on average, $75-$100 an hour, but that’s not really reflective on how much money your party makes,” says Brown, who began DJing in high school. “You could have a night where you’re bringing in tens of thousands of dollars and it doesn’t affect your pay.” Now making a living buying and selling vinyl, and having not practiced his craft and passion in a year and a half, the question remains: Will Mr. Brown and others of his trade eventually negotiate a pay rate equitable to both themselves and club owners? Or will they have to find new ways to ply their trade independent of established clubs and bars? Only time will tell, but hopefully the music never stops.
Earl Cunningham: I Want My Pay
Johnny K.: Bills To Pay
Lucille Boga: Payday Blues
Jimmy Riley: When Will We Be Paid
Cash Brown: Pay Me