DJ Excel
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DJ Excel


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"Baltimore Finally Gets Some Urban Radio Alternatives Beyond The Fm Dial"

Big Music Issue > Big Music Feature
No Static At All
Baltimore Finally Gets Some Urban Radio Alternatives Beyond The Fm Dial
Photographs By Sam Holden
DJ Excel
Dwayne "DJ Diamond-K" Williams

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By Al Shipley

"I'm not tryin' to compete with them," DJ Excel says of 92Q, Baltimore's only youth-oriented urban music station on terrestrial radio. "I'm tryin' to offer another scenario." That scenario is Bmore Original Radio (, the streaming internet radio station that Excel began about two years ago as an extension of his label of the same name, offering a round-the-clock selection of underground hip-hop and dance music. And it's just one of many, many Baltimore-based online stations that have sprung up in recent years, broadcasting primarily local music far beyond the physical limits of FM broadcasting range.

The Radio One-owned 92.3 FM (WERQ) has now been Baltimore's sole youth urban music station for more than five years straight, without a competitor in its format since X105.7's 2003 demise. In that same time frame, the city's hip-hop community has grown by leaps and bounds, often with growing pains developing between the two. And as more and more artists vied for the station's limited spots for local airplay, rumblings increased about the station management's screening process for independent label submissions, with accusations of corruption coming to a head with an anonymous online petition in mid-2007. The protests and complaints have died down as of late, however, since the departure of embattled program director Victor Starr in December. But with the technology now available for pretty much anyone with a computer and a microphone to broadcast streaming audio online, at least a dozen Baltimoreans are leveling the playing field with their own DIY radio programs.

DJ Excel may not be interested in taking on a corporate broadcasting entity like 92Q, but Bmore Original Radio offers as close to a full-service multimedia entity as a one-man operation can. He has separate shows, regularly updated, for local and national underground hip-hop alike, as well as his calling card, the frenetic dance beats of Baltimore club music. And with the Sessions program, Excel invites artists to his home studio to host and handpick music for the station, peruse his production work for collaborations, and get a free photo session.

"As a favor, as thanks for coming down, I shoot some photos, do some [promotional spots], listen to beats, the whole thing," the 32-year-old DJ explains over dinner at a Canton sushi restaurant, reclining in the booth. "Out of state artists, they come down for the weekend, I'll put 'em up, feed 'em or whatever."

Excel's welcoming nature has had the unexpected side effect of helping to spread the popularity of internet radio in Baltimore well beyond his own site; he hints that, on a couple of occasions, people he'd invite to appear on Bmore Original Radio would decline but then shortly thereafter start their own radio stations.

But even with so many people jumping on the internet radio bandwagon, some are nonetheless jumping off. The first 24-hour club music radio stream,, has been a popular destination for worldwide fans of homegrown Baltimore dance music for several years. Recently, however, site proprietor and club music legend DJ Technics has taken streaming radio off the site, though many of his club mixes remain available for free download.

By far the longest-running online radio program in Baltimore still standing, however, is Deep Flow Radio ( ) Amotion, a female MC from Boston who founded Deep Flow Studios in 2000 after relocating to Maryland, has long been savvy to the potential for reaching an international audience via the web. And after she gained a fan base in Japan with airplay on internet radio station, she launched her own station in 2004.

Lately, like many internet broadcasters, Amotion has received a rude awakening from the U.S. Copyright Office, which in 2007 issued a decision substantially raising royalty fees to be paid by internet radio stations. Because Deep Flow is run through one of the biggest online radio services, Live 365, and because it plays a large amount of music from major-label releases registered with music publishers such as ASCAP and BMI, Amotion's company is much more vulnerable to the effects of those fee increases than most of the other, newer Baltimore-based programs that play music more likely to be under the copyright hawks' radar.

But after four years, she isn't about to let a higher monthly bill stop Deep Flow Radio, which has become an indispensable calling card for the studio. "I did think about not doing [the radio station], but it's not really an option for me to not do it, because we've incorporated it so much into our business," Amotion says.

Unlike many of the Baltimore-based program - City Paper


Released Vinyl:
1995 DJ Excel - This DJ Kaptain Jack- Unruly/ Knuckleheadz Records

Released Mixtapes:

2007 DJ Excel - The Underground Files: The Prequel (Scribble Jam Promo)

2006 DJ Excel - Live From Yesterday Mixtape

2008 Singles:

DJ Excel - Bmore A.D.D.
DJ Excel - Obama That's What A Pimp Does
DJ Excel feat Tasherre - All I Know
DJ Excel feat Remstarr - Pop That Kitty
DJ Excel - Fire It Up
DJ Excel - Creatures of the Night
DJ Excel - Bump
DJ Excel - Pump It Up
DJ Excel - Open the Doors All right
DJ Excel feat J Pope & EMajor - Like This
DJ Excel feat Tasherre & Emajor - The Paper

2007 Singles

DJ Excel - Here They Come Now
DJ Excel feat EMajor - Think Twice
DJ Excel feat EMajor - Not the One
DJ Excel - Girls Wanna (Have Fun)
DJ Excel - Alive

2006 Singles

DJ Excel - Sweeter Dreams

2008 Breakthrough Promo Remixes

DJ Excel feat Pastor Manning - Thats What A
Pimp Does
DJ Excel - The Way I Work
DJ Excel feat Mulleyman - I am Good There

2007 Breakthrough Promo Remixes

DJ Excel featuring Aasim - Go (Bad Boy)
DJ Excel featuring Hangar 18 (Def Jux) -Bakin
Soda Remix
DJ Excel featuring Bossman and Blaqstarr - Push
Ya Top Back Remix
DJ Excel - Smack That Remix Eminem & Akon
DJ Excel -Bmore Gurl (Promiscuous Girl remix)

2006 Breakthrough Promo Remixes

DJ Excel - Borat Comes To Bmore

2008 Albums

DJ Excel - Singles and Remixes

Take It Back
Bmore A.D.D
Lock Remix
Headbanga Remix
Pop That Kitty Remix
Here They Come Now Remix
Gurls Wanna Remix
Lil Stripper

DJ Excel - Soundcheck

Obama Thats What A Pimp Does
Open The Doors Alright
Fire It Up
Creatures Of The Night

DJ Excel - The Friday Nite Bounce LP

All Systems Go
All Nite Long feat Emmy
All Nite Long Isumental
Bakin Soda Remix featuring Hangar18 (Def Jux)
Get It Up
Gotta New Dance
Hot Pepperz
Push Ya Top Back featuring Bossman
Put Up They Handz
Return 2 Da Classics
The Way Isumental

2008 Bmore Original Radio Shows:

Sessions with Hezekiah (Rawkus Records)
Sessions with The Lyricists
Sessions with EMajor
Sessions with Abrock
Sessions with Unreal
Sessions with Minlus N McCracken
Sessions with Verbatim
Sessions with J Pope
Sessions with Bossman
Sessions with Braille
Homegrown Pt 1
DownLo feat DJ Excel 2o Minute Workout (Bmore Club Mix)
DownLo feat DJ Impact (France)
DownLo feat DJ K.Gol (France)
DownLo feat DJ Lazy Soul (France)
DownLo feat DJ Dave Nada (Bmore, DC)
Check In with Akrobatik
Check In with Sonny Brown

2008 Production Credits:

The Lyricists - Transmittin Live - The Radio EP
The Juggle feat Khalel
Grown Up feat Braille & J Pope
Bubble Guts
Rules of Attraction
Now Hear This feat Illyas of Tanya Morgan

McCracken - Angels Pissed On my Shoes

EMajor - Majority Rules Album
Dont Worry
Got It Goin On
Lets Pretend outro
The Next Episode (Scratches)

2007 Production Credits:

Hangar 18 (Def Jux) - Bakin Soda Remix

Minlus & McCracken- Rock & A Hard Place Album
Rock & A Hard Place (Title Track)
Like This
Down To Sleep
Marked Man
Mission Accomplished

2006 Production Credits

Breakdown TV -Theme Song

Days Dirges- Tha Total Opposite

Emajor -We Got It Goin On



Both an old school pioneer and the hottest producer in his scene, DJ Excel has been weaving together samples and genres his contemporaries dare not touch for more than a decade. He is internationally renowned for his delicious brand of Baltimore Club music, as well as some of the sweetest hip-hop in the Mid-Atlantic.
Hailing from the greenest pastures of Baltimore, DJ Excel became an instant connoisseur of the scratch and sample the first time he touched 1200s. Tuned in to the early stylings of Prince Paul, Schooly D, Run DMC and Beastie Boys, as well as the underground DJs tearing it up late night on 88.9FM, he finally borrowed a Casio sampler from his East Roc neighbor, David Ross and went to work.
In 1995, DJ Excel walked into Inner City Records store, and placed in front of DJ Scottie B a painstakingly-crafted, fresh labor of love: the modern Baltimore Club classic "This DJ/Kaptain Jack". Before there were automated midis or synch cables, Excel used a 4-track tape deck and a Gemini 24-second sampler to build the club hit he brought to Unruly. Scottie B stopped the music in his store and played the track right on the spot, and they watched as heads turned and started bouncing.
He was quickly recognized for his unadulterated talent, business savvy, and make-it-happen attitude, and began building with the biggest players of the Baltimore Club and Hip-hop scenes. In the years following his debut vinyl, he worked with numerous local and national icons, including DJ Scottie B and Unruly Records, Rod Lee, Big Red, Koolbreez (Two Whyte Kidz), Bossman, Blaqstarr, Braille , Hezekiah, and many more.
Pressing the pause button on his inevitable musical growth, Excel took a hiatus from the industry in the late '90s to enjoy an expeditious career in the mortgage industry and raise his daughter. Unable to shelve his craving for spinning records, he jumped on the opportunity to grab three truck loads of vinyl, and dived back into the mix. His reemergence was welcomed and supported by his fellow local legends, and in 2004 he opened Bmore Original Records.
He pushed out his mixtape of 60 tracks of old school bliss "Live from Yesterday" in 2006, to much local and national love. He also dropped the witty "Borat Comes To Bmore". In 2008, he released, he dropped the Friday Night Bounce LP, including the heart-pounding track "Alive". This was quickly followed up by the tongue-in-cheek club remix of Pastor Manning's slanderous Barack Obama attacks, "Thats What a Pimp Does (Respect His Gangsta Mix)" off of Soundcheck EP, which garnered attention everywhere from the City Paper to MSNBC. His list of upcoming projects, innovative collaborations and unclaimed production credit grows daily, and as 2008 flushes out, the world will see, hear, and dance to more creative output than one person can be expected to produce.
These days, more than ever, DJ Excel simply can't stop creating. His peers, fans, and colleagues race daily to keep up with his creations. He smokes a cigar, and lickity-split creates a ground-breaking formula for music promotion. Two hours later, he's pacing the Bmore Original studio, having just remixed three golden tracks, directed a photo shoot, and cooked dinner with his daughter.
Leveraging his highly coveted producer's Midas touch, he is always making three moves at once, not just for himself, but for everyone around him. Artists on the scene today know that to sit down with DJ Excel is to take their career seriously: step into the studio to shop the freshest beats and production quality available in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, and you will leave with both a goldmine and a killer connect in your back pocket.