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Is DJ Mag Top 100 The Holy Grail of Lists? | Studio 240 Blog | iHeartRaves
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Is DJ Mag Top 100 The Holy Grail of Lists?

It’s that time of year again folks, no no no, not EDC (that already happened). DJ Magazine will once again open its polls to the world for the spot of NUMBER 1 DJ!!!


There will be carefully crafted, heartfelt Facebook posts and Tweets, as well as Instagram pictures displaying either a serious-face DJ staring you down or a goofy DJ trying to win your heart. All this lobbying is an effort to win your vote as a, lack of a better word, EDM lover and for their rite to the top of DJ Mountain.

But wait? This doesn’t make sense, Hardwell is the #1 DJ of 2014? No, no, no. I like the Dutch house producer, but he is not my number one man. And where are all the trance DJs in the top 10? WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!?!? Is this some popularity contest for a DJ prom king or queen? JK. I’m not trying to knock down the UK dance music magazine by Thrust Publishing. I do respect their influences in the electronic music world, but there are some SERIOUS discrepancies about this annual Top 100 list that are TOO loud to ignore.

If you don’t want to read the rest of this opinion piece (my opinion and not iHeartraves) then just watch the video above of Eric Prydz slapping the crap out of mainstream EDM (DJ Mag is one of the square heads that gets a five finger to the face). Notice how deadmau5 doesn’t get slapped. Fun fact, Hot Since 92 picture also receives the five-fingered-hello because the techno group have been accused of using Pryda snare. It’s funny. Laugh.

Back to what I was saying, despite the magical DJ/EDM powers that this list provides (depending on what rank the DJ is), the list does not come without scrutiny and controversy. Kevin Yu mentions some of these “problems” in his article relating to the DJ Mag Top 100. He points out that over the past few years, many have accused the list to be bought by third-party votes. Meaning that DJs would not only rely on their fan votes but also votes that were bought with their money. So basically cheating (like how we all did in primary school). Also, with the recent rapid bloom of electronic music festivals over the years, some challenge the list’s integrity by stating that the higher ranked DJs are voted due to their marketing abilities and their ability to generate revenue, rather than their production and DJ skills (i.e. David G. winning the title from Armin in 2011).

Speaking of music festivals, Belgium duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike recent actions at ID&T festival Tomorowland have some people raising their eyebrows. Some didn’t like the fact that the two were encouraging fans to vote during their set or something like that. If you want to read more about it then check out We Rave You’s article.

But with all of the politics aside, at the end of the day the results of the Top 100 list is simply JUST. A. LIST! Sure the ones on top have been chosen by the “public” as the best DJs in the “world”. But who cares; that doesn’t mean their #1 DJ is your #1 DJ. It’s difficult to love the music if you’re wrapped up in all the affairs of the “Top 100”. . . Well unless you’re a sheep, then the DJ list is all you need: surrender your brain now! Just make sure you’re not on the opposing side of trolling tweets about the Top 100 list when everything hits the fan.

Now to address the devil’s advocate of this conversation, please don’t use this list to be a pretentious d*ck. I know in the scene now-a-days there are elitists of the electronic music genre. Just because you only listen to trance or deep-house or techno or some kind of super sub-genre of house infused whatever, don’t bash on other people’s favorite DJs. If someones favorite DJ happens to be Hardwell and yours is Richie Hawtin, don’t claim that their pallet for music is underdeveloped under the accusation of mainstreamist (not a real word). Don’t be that person. Play nice. 

Another thing, don’t use the list as a pissing contest between you and your friends in the Whose DJ Is Ranked Higher So Therefore Better game. Just because a DJ you love is #4 and your friends DJ is ranked #15 doesn’t mean they suck as an electronic music lover. Or just because trance DJs barely makes the Top 20 doesn’t mean trance music sucks, or is dead. Remember that this list is just a list, nothing more. If someone is trying to bash on your music taste because of some “DJ rankings” then just brush it off. You know bullies have small . . . self-esteem and are trying to boost their own by knocking down yours. Wait, that doesn’t seem right. How about you just don’t be a d*ck!?

Everyone is different and has their own right to love whatever DJ and style of music they want. We’re all in this for our love of electronic music right? A scene that accepts people from all walks of life! Whatever the results are, don’t solely base your interest off someone else’s list; no stupid list composed by random people and computer generated cash votes can tell you who to love and who to love less. Just use DJ Mag’s list as a reference and make up your own Top 100! While respecting others, of course. But remember, you better have something to back-up your claim when someone questions you on why you think Paris Hilton your #1 DJ!!!

Have a good one and listen intelligently!!!

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