You may have heard of Derrick Carter, you might not have. If you haven’t heard of him, let us fill you in: Derrick is widely regarded as one of the best DJs on the planet. He’s from Chicago and was instrumental in the ’90s house music wave. I have had the privilege of seeing him DJ both on his home turf (Smart Bar, Chicago) when I was living there a few summers back and here in DC at U Street Music Hall, so I can attest to his prowess as a DJ. His sets are usually house-oriented, but he often ventures outside the genre. Besides DJing, Derrick produces music, owns a bunch of dogs, and frequently uses social media to poke fun at and “school” other DJs and dance music culture in general. I’m going to write about this last facet of Derrick in today’s post.
In the last two months alone, Derrick has called out a number of DJs and certain aspects dance culture. For example, check out this series of tweets he posted in March making fun of “DerpHouse DJs” – it started with this introduction:
If every track you play, has a gratuitous, unnecessary breakdown in it…you might be "derp house".
Over the next few days, Derrick went on to post a number of tweets with the hashtag “#DerpHouse” in which he ridiculed the style of today’s ultra-serious, deep v-neck-wearing, etc. techno/deep house DJs. Here are some of the highlights from his “#DerpHouse” twitter run:
If it takes more than three DJs to play one set, you might be #DerpHouse
Towards the end of Derrick’s series of #DerpHouse rants, he posted the following message on his Facebook page:
“Here’s the rub y’all. This is fun. And if you have lost that fact somewhere in your indignation or it’s obscured by your cool ass haircut, then reevaluate that shit. I have been doing this thing for 30 years. Plus, I got jokes…#DealWithIt”
Derrick acknowledges that he was joking around with his #DerpHouse tweets, but he makes a good point that many people in the scene need to lighten up and not take themselves so seriously.
While Derrick is often guilty of joking around on social media, he does get serious and call other DJs out. Derrick posted this tweet in response to a New York Times article on Swedish DJ/producers Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso in which Ingrosso belittled underground dance music:
“Underground dance music — in the nicest way possible — it’s amateur,” Sebastian Ingrosso
In conclusion, Derrick Carter may be the DJ Jokester in Chief, but there are often important points in his jests. As Derrick said himself, he’s “been doing this thing for 30 years,” and in those years, Derrick has attained a high level of wisdom with regards to DJing and dance music culture. So when Derrick posts on social media, you should listen – even if it seems ridiculous and you can’t quite decipher the meaning, as may be the case with these two tweets: