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Best DJ 

D Sharp

It isn't often that you see Charles Lloyd free-jazz records stashed among the old-school breaks and 1980s hits in a DJ's record collection. (Granted, it's become increasingly rare to find a DJ with a physical record collection, now that Serato Scratch has become the main stock-in-trade.) But D Sharp came up in the era of crate-digging, and unlike many of his contemporaries, he's a scholar of multiple music genres with an encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop. Sharp is one of those DJs who could not only name a sample, but also tell you exactly when the original record dropped, then describe the picture on the record jacket. In addition to his successful DJ career (he's toured with Blackalicious, Flipsyde, and the Lauryn Hill band, among others), he's also a sought-after producer and indie mogul, having launched the hip-hop label Urban Republic (which holds rappers Nerve and Mr. Town within its stable). Sharp's syncopated production style and creative use of samples (as a rhythmic element rather than a backdrop) betrays a real understanding of music. Word around town is he's not cheap, but he's definitely worth it.

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