Can DJs put a political spin on things even if they want to?

DJ Adam Bravin, a.k.a. Adam 12, and President Barack Obama. (Adam Bravin)

From The Los Angeles Times:

Last September, the DJ and electronica artist Adam Bravin (who performs as Adam 12) spun a set of hip-hop and soul at an Obama fundraising event at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. It was his second time DJ’ing a campaign event, and Obama’s staff wanted him to come backstage to meet the president.

But on the way to the receiving line, a guest spilled a cup of coffee all over his white clothes.

“The only extra shirt I had in my car was one for a friend’s drug charity that said, ‘The only coke I do is diet,'” Bravin recalled. Fortunately, he also had a jacket that buttoned over the text, and when the Secret Service whisked him off to meet the president, Obama had nothing but compliments on his set.

“He said, ‘Thanks for being my DJ,’ and it struck me that we have a president who gets it, who understands what a DJ actually does,” Bravin said.

Amid an explosion of DJ culture in America, that America has a hip-hop fan (the genre that invented turntable wizardry) in the White House is hugely appealing to many DJs and dance-music producers. Years after their craft found an audience at decadent festivals and high-rolling nightclubs, some DJs are joining with the Obama 2012 campaign and other activist causes.

But unlike rock and hip-hop cultures of past decades, today’s DJs have different obstacles when it comes to musical activism. Given EDM’s hard-partying culture, DJs worry that partisan stands might alienate escapist fans and compromise huge paychecks — especially when those checks come from mega-club owners in Las Vegas who are donating heavily to groups supporting Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The question remains — if dance music is the new rock ‘n’ roll, is it even possible for DJs to effectively get political?

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Los Angeles Times