I do need some help! beginner hip hop dj


New DJ
Feb 14, 2020
i've been having some trouble with transitions for the music i play, i usually play all rap, hip hop and r&b; no other genres because that the type of music my audiences want to hear. But all of the transition tutorials or mixing tutorial i've watch only show beat matching or some type of transition that simply just does not work for my library. I am often switching between a 130 bpm song and a 80 bmp song and i just can beat match songs like that because it would distort the coming in song just too much. Are there any suggestions someone could give me, i'm just looking for that one transition that's perfect and i will probably just use that transition over and over again and throw some samples in between so the crowd stays alive and not get bored of the same transition. Any advice would be super helpful and i would be very appreciative.
(extra info you may need to give me advice , Location:east coast USA controller: DDJ-400, Laptop:Microsoft surface , program: Rekordbox, speakers: Presonus Eris E3.5-3.5" Near Field Studio Monitors.
Thank you, please help me out.
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Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
Cleveland, OH
Welcome Isaac,
You are going to get a lot of opinions. The reality is there is no magic bullet.
You'll need to find what works for you and your audience.

I wish you luck!


DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
Going from 130 to 80 is a big jump. There are a few ways to do this regularly

If you go to 65 or 70 you can do it in half-time really easily.

You could play Danza Kuduro into something like Cardi B - Bodak Yellow. And then take 1-2 songs to work up from 65ish to 80.

Or, you can look for a transition track from a record pool. You might be able to find an edit already made that goes to the speed you want. I have several that go to similar speeds. 128 into Flo Rida - GDFR which is 73 bpm. Or, into Chain Smokers - Don't Let Me Down at 80bpm.

Even if the transition track isn't right where you want it you can go crazy pitched up if you want. For example:

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 10.20.00 PM.png

I could drop that 100 - 86 transition pitched up to +30%. And then you can drop the pitch fader very quickly when you get to the transition part so it'll slow drastically into your 86 bpm track.

Or, honestly, you can skip the beat mixing entirely. Beatmixing is a great tool but sometimes it's restrictive. You could do a long-tail echo out, or a reverb effect on one track. Let it tail off for a second - put a little baby scratch and drop your 80 bpm song on the downbeat.

Some DJs might use that as a spot for a little mic work in a club too. "We got any birthdays in the house right now?" *Drop Rihanna - Cake*

There's a bunch of options depending on what your style is.

Do you have an example of two songs you're trying to put together?
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DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
I did a lot of hip hop for many years... the beauty of it being....there are tons of songs in almost any bpm level... the best way to perform a set...as Ross mentioned is a bpm progression.... grab 8 or 10 songs in each...say... 10 songs in the 90's bpm range...build up into 5 in the 100 range... to 110bpm...120....130...70...80....and your back to 90s.... you can continue to do this ....or find parts in songs where maybe it comes to a crescendo and slam or scratch into a more energetic bpm....say you were playing Lil Jon Down for what ....u get to the second bass drop and you slam into something with a big beat in some other bpm range...

As mentioned...mic work is vital as well... if your not good on the mic...find a friend who is and toss them some money to do it... they will be worth every penny

Learn some simple scratches...that can go a long way....maybe echo out into a quick scratch...

knowing the parts of the music people love will also help....so many great hip hop songs start out with a highly recognizable acapella intro...or rapper yelling something... thats helpful in a slam style transition...

I know a lot of hip hop doesnt really have intros and outros for mixing....so try joining a record pool to get remixes built perfectly for that....or do what i do and make your own... instrumentals are available for almost every song in hip hop...so take the beat and make yourself an intro...

Dont get frustrated and look for the easiest route....djing has to be learned...and is hard work....thats why everyone and their mother arent getting paid big bucks and playing the hottest clubs ..... we are specialists.... dont short change yourself... learn everything you can....practice....practice....practice.... trust me...technology has made it all MUCH simpler for you guys... take advantage of it... years ago i sat in my basement with a crowd counter/clicker and a watch ...bpming every song i owned... now these controllers will almost mix for you....but learning your music and finding what works is the true gift a good dj possesses.... its our super power




DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)
Nov 10, 2013
Buffalo, NY
Yup ^^^^.

You’ve got to start thinking about organizing your tunes and sets based on bpm, and/or “mixing in key” (Google that), or consider just using a lot of “Hip-Hop Slams”— not really beat-matching, but just making sure that the next tune starts on a downbeat that hits hard on beat 1 as you transition quickly from the other tune (“mixtape style,” if you will; see Chris’ post above).

You might also consider investing in a little drum machine or a Kaossilator type pad, whereby you can make and throw in your own beats as transitional/segue elements and can slow the tempo down manually without it sounding too odd like it might if you did so with a full track.

Albatross’ effects idea is great too. If your controller doesn’t have built-in effects (don’t they all now?), then an outboard unit like a Kaoss pad can be a lot of fun (I don’t work for Korg; I just love their stuff!).

Lots of ways to go.



DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
There are no samples or tricks that can hide a lack of mixing skills. Are there solutions to your 130 to 80 BPM jump? Yes. But, using them effectively requires a lot of experience with mixing - on beat.

First and foremost - think like a dancer not a DJ. Anyone who's on the dance floor moving to 130 BPM is not going to appreciate you slamming on the breaks at 80. That's only works when your entire dance crowd is already stepping in half time, and even then you've got advance one track closer to 140 and slow the other closer 70 all without anyone noticing. That requires a lot of skill or high quality key shifting - not something found in entry level DJ gear.

You don't need to expend long stretches of time to get where you want to go - you can blow through 5 tracks in the space of a single song but, again it requires very good mixing skills.

If you truly believe your crowd will hang with you through these sudden and massive shifts (and a lot of teens will if you are consistently playing their favorites and requests) then you'll have to use the obvious distortion or hard cuts to your advantage. Don't try to hide the transition - make it clean, obvious and intentional. It should include zero down time and hit people in the face like mouthwash. If you are doing it wrong you'll know it, and if you're doing it right the teen girls on the floor will let out a scream every time the song changes.

Dancers don't like having their rhythm broken. When you drop your new beat the dancers foot is already mid-travel to the floor. If their foot is not going to land on a beat then you've got to give them a really good reason to stay with you.


DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
Up to now you've gotten some great suggestions. My suggestion is find a place where you can practice and keep practicing till you feel you're good enough to go and perform in front of people.