Kool Flash, a nine year-old DJ from Silver Spring, MD, recently became the youngest female DJ in the history of hip-hop to release a mixtape. The project is entitled 1st Ladies Volume 1 and every track is by a female rapper. It was recorded as a straight take (recording) from beginning to end. No audio editing, correcting or effects were added in post production.
DJ Kool Flash was born into a musical family. Her mother is an accomplished dancer and her father is a professional DJ, and it’s clear she has inherited her parents sense of rhythm and timing. Kool Flash is a true turntablist, she’s not just “pushing buttons.” She possesses a full arsenal of skills: mixing, cutting, scratching, and beat juggling vinyl on her Technic 1200s.
I saw Kool Flash perform recently when she opened a show for Inspectah Deck and Cappadonna of the Wu Tang Clan. The venue was standing room only, but she performed flawlessly – manipulating the turntables like a seasoned veteran. I was impressed not only by her skill, but also by her charismatic personality. Kool Flash clearly loves to DJ and enjoys interacting with the audience. When the crowd reacted in amazement to her DJ tricks, she responded immediately with a captivating smile. Her parents were standing nearby – also beaming with pride.
The DJ Kool Flash management team is smartly limiting her performance schedule because of her age and academic priorities (she’s also an honors student), but when she gets an opportunity she really makes an impact! And the music industry is taking notice of this young mixmaster.
Last year the J Dilla (James Dewitt Yancey) Foundation shared a video of Kool Flash beat juggling on their Facebook page. Later the same day, Akai Professional (a company that makes DJ equipment) also shared the video and it instantly went viral. The post would eventually get over 160,000 views. The attention from the video led to appearances with Smif-N-Wessun, Jayden and Willow Smith, Brand Nubians, Joey Badass and even Erykah Badu. Statik Selektah, a prominent DJ and producer, was so impressed that he became a mentor. In fact, he’s the host of the 1st Ladies Mixtape.
If you want to see this phenomenal little lady in action, Kool Flash will perform at Soulcation Sunday Mass in Baltimore on March 13th, she will be a featured main stage DJ at the Broccoli City Festival in Washington DC on April 30th, she will be at Fire Station 1 for the M-1 of Dead Prez, Tony Touch and Kev Brown show in Silver Spring on May 20th, and she is scheduled to spin and be a panelist at the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival in New York City on July 14th thru 17th. Her mixtape can be downloaded on DatPiff.com or Coast2Coast.com.