Editorial: Global Spin Awards Honors Hip-Hop DJs, Pays Only Lip Service to EDM

Last week it was announced that Global Spin Awards, a new ceremony honoring DJs, will take place on November 19 in New York City. Reads a blurb on GSA’s website: “Actors have the Academy Awards…Recording Artists have the Grammy’s…And Now…DJ’s have the GSA’s!!”

Good idea, we initially thought.

GSA is the brainchild of Shawn Prez, an employee at Bad Boy Records. He told to the New York Post that “GSA is not about the hip-hop community. It’s about the DJ and their music. Award shows like these would help get awareness to what influence DJs have on social culture.”

However, looking at the list of nominees, I’m not so sure I agree with Prez’s statement not being only “about the hip-hop community” — a scan of GSA’s list of nominees clearly gives dance music DJs gets short shrift.

Out 200 nominations in 42 categories, only a handful of the DJs affiliated with electronic music are in the mix. Some of the nominations seem entirely random, such as nominating Daft Punk for Dance DJ of the Year. Aside from creating a mix for Saint Laurent’s show during Paris Fashion Week last week, the reclusive French duo rarely DJ and haven’t toured in ages.

While every publication (including BS) is guilty of typos, there are several on the list of nominations — specifically the spelling of dance music DJs Paul Van Dyk, Armin van Buuren and deadmau5 — on GSA’s site. My guess is that they are likely the result of the organization’s unfamiliarity with EDM (we’ll table our issues with the list of nominees for another day):


While Global Spin Awards promise musical diversity it’s also interesting to note that only hip-hop DJs — Funkmaster Flex, Kid Capri, Sway Calloway, Clinton Sparks and legendary DJ/producer Marley Marl — were present at the kickoff press conference. Big Shot didn’t receive an invitation to cover the press conference, and judging by the dearth of coverage on EDM sites we’re going to assume invites weren’t extended much beyond hip-hop press.

Honoring DJs is unquestionably commendable, but saying you’re paying homage to all DJs is quite another.

In the future, let’s hope the organizers cast as wide a musical net as possible and solicit help when paying tribute to DJs beyond their own personal comfort zone. After all, we all get by with a little help from our friends.