Bad Boy Bill Brought Chicago House to OC
EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON
MDA had the honor of hosting an absolute legend and pioneer, Bad Boy Bill. BBB grew up in Chicago during the house music movement of the mid to late 80s with his DJ career starting in 1985 when he was only a teenager. He built his popularity by hosting his own parties and opening for the legendary Hot Mix 5.
Success as a remixer came early for Bad Boy Bill, as he earned a Top Five Billboard Dance Chart hit at the ripe age of 19 with his remix of Dada Nada’s Deep Love. He had some tough competition as the other remixers for Deep Love included Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Steve Wight. As a DJ, he proved his skills by winning the DMC Midwest Finals and placing in the top three of the US championships in 1988. He is known for using up to six turntables in competitions!
Perhaps Bad Boy Bill’s most interesting accomplishment is helping to bring the concept of commercial DJ mixes to the world. Before commercial DJ mixes, music publishing houses were not paid any royalties on copyrighted music in the mixes DJs would produce and sell. This means that the artists who made the songs were not paid if their songs were featured as part of a mix.
In 1995, Bad Boy Bill launched Mix Connection Multimedia (MCM) and became the first Chicago DJ to produce legally-licensed DJ mixes. He went on to release mix series such as Bangin’ the Box and The House Connection with Richard Vission.
BBB has countless singles and remixes credited to his name, but in 2009 he released his first full-length album which is appropriately named, The Album. I highly recommend checking it out.
Bad Boy Bill merges genres throughout the album like I’ve never heard before, but everything still has his electronic signature. He also shows how well-respected he is in the music world as his list of collaborators include JJ Flores, Steve Smooth, Alyssa Palmer, Alex Peace, and even John Taylor from Duran Duran.
His set on Friday was very reminiscent of the album, as he blended many different genres, eras, and sounds from start to finish. No matter what everything had the Bad Boy Bill feel to it. He played some of my personal favorite tracks right now, Hood Girl by Billy Kenny and Cola by Camelphat and Elderbrook, and also mixed in some of his newest original tracks like Hustling for Horns with Ghettoblaster.
Bad Boy Bill is one of those rare DJs that has managed to stay relevant for decades, especially in today’s world when DJs are a dime a dozen. I don’t think he will be going anywhere any time soon. I just hope he keeps coming back to Orange County to play!
Until next time Ambassadors!
AKA DJ Moose Trax