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Friday, October 21, 2011

Editorial: Top 100 DJs controversy

I don't usually write full-length articles...but when I do it's serious business. (Props to you if you get that Dos Equis reference) Last night, David Guetta was announced as the #1 DJ according to DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 DJs poll.  This caused quite a bit of controversy in the EDM community given the fact that David Guetta is a divisive figure.  His recent rise in global popularity over the past few years, to some, has come at the expense of "selling out."  I will not attempt to defend any of the rankings on this list, but below I will make an argument for why us members of the dance music community should not stress over this list.  Below is a brief opinion piece I wrote on my Facebook page following the announcement:

"There's been a lot of outrage over the fact that David Guetta is #1 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list. My opinion is that this is just a poll. Personally, I have nothing against Guetta, there are other DJ/producers that I like more than him, but I'm not upset that he won. Nor will I hold it against him that he is popular. It's a poll based on peoples' opinions. By nature, opinions are subjective. The #1 ranking in this poll, as the sum of votes in a subjective poll, therefore does not imply that he is objectively better than anyone else on or not on the list.

In general, this list is a measure of popularity, not only of individual DJs, but styles in general. In previous years the Top 100 has traditionally been dominated by trance DJs. This is no longer the case, what this poll shows is a shifting trend in the world of EDM. Is trance on a downward trajectory? One cannot infer that from the data, but what one can infer is that partygoers around the world, now more than ever, are listening to a diversity of genres. For better or worse, the music world is evolving. Do not despair if your favorite DJ didn't make the cut or is not as high as you would like; what matters is that you support them by going out to their shows or buying their tracks. What is important is that as fans we let the artists we support know that we appreciate their craft."

The bottom line is, like it or not, this list is based solely on opinion.  Other lists exist that rank DJs differently.  It is my opinion that it is useless to stress over the results of a vote that is unimportant in the long run.  This is not as important as a government election, nor is this a life or death matter.

If anyone has anything they would like to say, I encourage you, the readers, to respectfully debate one another in the comments section below.

P.S. Here's a video, from last night's ceremony, of 4-time winner Armin Van Buuren "passing the crown" to this year's winner, David Guetta...listen to the crowd's reaction when Guetta is announced. Tough crowd!

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