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A Brief History of DJ Culture in Southern California

Los Angeles’ environs are set-up for a thriving back yard party scene. The town is blessed with some of the best weather in the country, allowing for a 10-month stretch of non-stop partying to occur.

But not only the weather is to blame. The planning of our streets, with its city grids and post-war middle class homes allow many residents to enjoy a backyard with an orange tree and enough space to throw a party.

Not everyone though takes advantage of this or even needs it. The working class communities in east and south Los Angeles see their backyard as a place to commune, retreat, escape and yes, save some money.

Historically, the youth involved in backyard party planning and djing did not have the extra cash to

drive to Hollywood and pay $20 bucks to enter a club. That is why they created a party of their own, with their own rules, participants, promoters, economies and music. This sub-culture which was and continues to be emulated by club promoters in the west side and the world was built and devised by the young men and women, ages 15 to 21, who live and sometimes die in east and south L.A.

In this issue of webstories, we will explore the rise of backyard parties as we take a look at the evolution of DJ culture from the 1970’s to the present. In each decade we will explore one famous party, tracing the evolution and development of fashion, music and culture in L.A.

So sit down and relax…. and let the mix take you away.