A year of hard work perfecting your craft, and it all boils down to 5 minutes. No, this isn’t overtime of game 7 of the NBA finals; this is the Red Bull 3Style World DJ Championships...and, oh yeah, this is just the first round.
The finals are in Taipei this year and will feature national winners and wildcards from across the globe performing their best 15 minute set live for DJ supremacy. However, the first step in getting there is a 5 minute online submission mixing at least 3 styles of music using two turntables (or CDJs for those who prefer that sort of thing).
Results of who moves on do not come until the end of this month, so in the meantime here are our favorite 5...
1) Diggy Dutch - USA (Austin, Texas)
Falling just short at the USA national finals last year, Diggy Dutch appropriately starts his set with "I'm Back" by, Texas' own, Slim Thug. Is he sending a message to the competition? We wouldn't be surprised given the incredible word play and overall strength of this set, which continues on with Diggy Dutch somehow seamlessly mixing a Selena sample (presumably sacred tracks in Texas) between Gawvi (trap) and Sister Nancy (roots reggae) checking the "3 style" box in a span of about 10 seconds. Fire.
Texas Tourism, you owe Diggy Dutch some money, because after this set, we want to visit.
2) Inbituin - Philippines (Manila)
We'll say it: he got snubbed. Inbituin, last year's Philippines champion, had our favorite elimination set at the finals last year in Krakow, Poland (check it out here), but somehow did not make the final night. Very confusing. This seems to have added fuel to the fire for this year's competition, as Inbituin immediately hits us with a demonstration of his pad skills in lead up to equally impressive mid-set juggling. Red Bull encourages you to "play with music" and if anyone does, it is Inbituin - just wait until the end.
Inbituin is wearing a Warriors 2017 championship shirt in his video - can he repeat like the Dubs and be this year's Philippines champion again? We think so, and a good chance at even more...
3) DJ Ride - Portugal (Caldas da Rainha)
A 2015 3Style world finalist and winner of the 2016 IDA World DJ Championships, DJ Ride's reputation precedes him. Most likely, DJ Ride has already rocked a crowd at your favorite venue or music festival, so it should come as no surprise that he put together 5 of our favorite minutes this year - just watch the first 20 seconds when he more easily kills complex scratches than we can walk in a straight line on a Friday night.
4) Revrt - United Kingdom (Bristol)
Risk taking should be rewarded, otherwise we may have never have got pineapple on pizza (yes, it is a good thing). Revrt starts his set with doubles of Metallica (For Whom the Bell Tolls), immediately grabbing our attention, dresses it up with some scratching and manual effects (great use of brakes), and then drops in Kanye West's Mercy. Risky? Yes. Does it work? Hell, yes. Even more unique in this competition, Revrt actually lets his tracks breathe. Of course this can be risky (a theme here) as it takes time away from showcasing other skills, but Revrt found the perfect balance making for a truly refreshing set that stands out to us.
5) DJ Husky - (Russia)
"If you can't have fun doing it, then why do it at all?" - this common American phrase has clearly made its way over to Russia as DJ Husky seems to enjoy his set almost as much as we do. DJ'ing is a performance art, and the enthusiasm and skill that DJ Husky brings at the end of his set, really makes us want to go to his next party.
Did we miss your favorite submission? Let us know at email@example.com.