Best DJ (Club): Lustiest piece of gear
It's well known that Oakland's DJ BackSide doesn't fake the funk in terms of scandal (DJs often name themselves for a favorite piece of gear, uh, well, yeah) but, borrowing the quasifeminist mantra of her Oaktown-raised counterpart, Goldee the Murderess, "Don't let the smooth look fool you." BackSide may like to cash in on our desire to fetishize women in hip-hop, but she's also a rap kingpin in her own right. Last year she launched the bimonthly Block Yard Barbecue at Moses Music in East Oakland, providing free hamburgers and weenies for the community, and an open mic for local emcees. Participants included everyone from Turf Talk and Mistah F.A.B. to unknowns from around the block. She's currently running one of the few all-ages hip-hop dance parties in the Bay Area ("Club Speed," every fourth Saturday of the month at 2232 MLK). BackSide may be a neophyte compared to DJ brethren like Lash and Juice, but she scores a lot of points just for being the unofficial Pam Grier of the hyphy crowd. And ultimately, the thrust of this DJ's personality will carry her a long way.