The DJ Vatican
The “Rap Vatican DJ Conference Call” was established in 1992 by DJ Ricky Leigh Mensh, creator of “In Tha Mix,” a weekly “must-read” column in the highly influential music trade HITS Magazine, which is read by radio DJs, programmers, and record label executives. In Tha Mix” was, essentially, the first and highly successful attempt to tap into the minds of significant DJ’s across the United States and internationally about what was popping off their turntables, in their clubs, and on the radio.
“In Tha Mix” ran until 2004, after the dot-com crash two years previously forced a radical restructuring and downsizing of the magazine and its staff. Earlier this year Ricky Leigh passed away and members of the DJ community, led by DJ Debonair, Rory McAlister, Jimmy Jamz, Kevin "The Deacon" James, Charles Dixon and others put a reunion call together as a memorial to Ricky’s efforts. The memorial was a huge success and, true to the tradition of the call, included participation from the biggest names in the music business (including Dr. Dre and over 75 DJ’s/programmers from the US & Canada).
With the success of the April memorial assembly, the DJ Vatican decided to start the call back up again on a monthly basis. The DJ Vatican members consist of the hottest taste-makers in the music industry; each member being a vital part of their respected community and market. The call is a forum (or fraternity) of veteran career DJ's (and Programmers) to discuss artists and trends making an impact in their individual markets. DJ's exchange information and knowledge to stay on the cutting-edge and catch new trends and artists impacting both regionally and internationally.
Ricky's “In Tha Mix,” column and DJ conference call was game changing. Every senior level radio and label executive became aware of how important and relevant the Mixshow community was for breaking and branding new artists and products. The Vatican roster of DJs includes such Djs as: Sway & Tech (Sway is now the producer and face of MTV News), The Baker Boys (Nationally Syndicated Radio HipHop Master Mix currently in over 140 Markets), Funk Master Flexx (Hot 97 NY), DJ Ran, Sir Charles"Mixin"Dixon, Kelly G (Music Director of BET Television), DJ Latin Prince (Universal Records/Bumsquad DJz), Prince Ice (Interscope Records/KMEL Veteran), The Babalu Bad Boys (WEMX Palm Beach), Wolf D (Superadio Syndicated/WKKV/Music Choice), Jimmy Jamz (WJHM Orlando), Damon Williams (Program Director of the Music Choice Network), Dj Debonair (Tour DJ for Keith Urban & KJLH Los Angeles), Dj Shadow aka Mike London (founder of SNA Record Pool & The Official DJ of the 2010 Census Road Tour), DJ Touchtone (WPHI Philly Mid-Days), Mecca (MD Music Choice), DJ Scrap Dirty (founder of Violator All-Star DJ's), DJ Doom (WJBT Jacksonville), Steve Miggedy Maestro (Superadio/WGCI Chicago), DJ Jelly (WHTA Atlanta), DJ Chonz (KQKS Denver Afternoon Drive), Felix Sama (Power 96 Miami), Dj Book (WPGC Washington DC), DJ E-Man (Big Boy's Morning Show & Music Director KPWR Los Angeles), DJ Mixxula (KSFM Sacramento), DJ Jam (Superadio Syndicated/ Tour DJ for Snoop Dogg Dr Dre & Warren G), Harold Banks (WZKS Atlanta, GA), DJ G Wiz (APD WJBT Jacksonville), DJ Kut (WBLS, New York), DJ Rory Mack (KLUC Las Vegas), DJ Chris Coleman (APD @ WBHK), DJ Paul Bunyon (WHHH Indianapolis), Creativity (KDAY/WHWT/SUPERADIO/MUSIC CHOICE/Bumsquad DJ’s), DJ Dense (KDAY/Los Angeles Clippers) DJ Trauma (WHTA Atlanta), Benny Demus "DJ Benny D" (Tour DJ for Grammy Nominated artist Akon), C-Minus (Tour DJ The Foo Fighters/Fantastic 4our), Corey Hill (WJMN Boston, MA),
Mohammed Morretta (Los Angeles/Miami), Wolf D (Superadio Syndicated), Ern Dogg (Soul Assasin's “West Wing” Shade/45 Sirius Satellite), Jammin Jay (PD WZBN 105.5 FM, "Power 105.5fm Albany GA), Tony G (Original KDAY Mixmaster/Westside Radio with Julio G), Wild Wayne (WQUE New Orleans), DJ Buddha (Tour DJ / A&R for Recording Artist Pitbull), Kronik (Tour DJ for Grammy Nominated artist Flo Rida), GQ (WHYI Y100 Miami, FL), Tom LaRoc (Miami, FL), Red Alert, DJ Clue and a host of other top DJs from around the world!
The conference call emanates a real family atmosphere, and the respect among its members is undeniable. This is one of the biggest reasons the call has been such a successful network for exchanging information. Our members have life-long relationships with each other and discuss their opinions openly during the DJ Vatican forum.
Conference calls are currently conducted on the first Thursday of every month. One of our goals for the near future is to conduct the call to a bi-weekly basis. The DJ Vatican group consists of over 200 DJ’s and Program Directors from The United States and Canada. Through our network we have direct ties to a LARGE majority of the active record labels (both independent and majors) and direct access to celebrity figures recording artists in our local markets.
Past guests include: record producer Clive Davis, Luther Vandross, Sean "Diddy/Puff Daddy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Raphael Saddiq, Lil Kim, Steve Rifkind (owner/creator of Loud Records/SRC), Russell Simmons (founder of Def Jam Records), Kevin Lyles, Naughty by Nature, Doug E. Fresh and many, many more. Our most recent special guests include Cali Swag District, David Banner, Trina, Gorilla Zoe, Diplo, Bob Sinclair, Afrojack, Lloyd, Diddy-Dirty Money, and Grammy nominated artists Flo’Rida & Pitbull.
On average the DJ Vatican call has around 50 DJ's in attendance. Our younger and newest members will often opt to listen in to the call, and take away the knowledge passed down by veteran DJ's. The majority of our members are in P-1 markets. All of whom have extremely large audiences and even larger fan bases.