DJs have been a vital part of hip hop since its inception, with legends like Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master Jay.
However, Black women DJs are often unsung.
Just think back to the 80s or 90s and tell me any Black women DJs you know–you’ll probably struggle to name more than one.
So, let’s look at the Black women DJs who shattered glass ceilings and deserve to be on all our radars.
DJ Jazzy Joyce
Born and bred in the vibrant Bronx, DJ Jazzy Joyce discovered her passion for music and DJing as a preteen.
In 1983, her talent caught the attention of New Music Seminar, where she snagged her first DJing award.
From that moment on, Joyce’s career skyrocketed, making her among the most prominent Black women DJs.
In 1986, Joyce teamed up with Sweet T to create “It’s My Beat.”
And to this day, you can still catch DJ Jazzy Joyce rocking stages around the globe.
In the 1990s, DJ Minx’s career began after being captivated by the performances of established DJs at Detroit’s Music Institute.
She made her mark as an engineer and host of the popular electronic music show ‘Deep Space Radio’ on WGPR, Detroit.
Witcher also showcased her skills on CJAM 91.5 FM with the weekly radio program ‘Steamy Windows.’
As a resident of Club Motor in Hamtramck, she became a staple in the local scene.
From performing at the inaugural Detroit Electronic Music Festival to gracing every edition of ‘Movement,’ Witcher’s talents took her on international tours.
Witcher also ventured into production, releasing hits like ‘A Walk In The Park.’
Witcher founded the empowering DJ collective ‘Women on Wax’ in 1996, providing a platform for talented female DJs from Detroit.
She further expanded her influence by establishing the record label ‘Women on Wax Recordings’ in 2001, and later creating the sub-imprint W.O.W. B.A.M. (Women On Wax Bangin’ Ass Music).
Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale
Hotwaxx Hale was the first Black female DJ to grace the airwaves of Detroit with house music in the late 80s.
Fast forward several decades, and she remains a force to be reckoned with.
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Hotwaxx seamlessly blends house and techno with hints of funk, hip-hop, and Motown soul.
Hotwaxx triumphed in the Motor City Mix contest, where she left over 600 DJs in the dust to walk away with a crisp $10,000.
Hotwaxx currently wears many hats as she produces and hosts three radio shows.
DJ Cocoa Chanelle
At only 16, Cocoa Chanelle visited her family in Houston when the legendary DJ Walter D of Magic 102 radio station extended an invitation for her to make a guest DJ appearance.
And as soon as she graduated, Cocoa launched her professional DJ career in New York City.
She became the official DJ of hip-hop duo Kings of Swing, and later landed a coveted spot as the first-ever resident DJ on BET’s teen talk show, Teen Summit.
For six years, she held the crowd captive with her electrifying mixes and infectious energy.
Cocoa then became part of “Ladies Night,” featuring the powerhouse trio of Angie Martinez, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and Cocoa.
Vibe Magazine listed her as one of the country’s top Black women DJs, and she’s made her mark as one of the most influential Black women DJs.
DJ Diamond Kuts
Tina Dunham, aka Diamond Kuts, shattered the glass ceiling by securing a mix-show slot on Philadelphia radio.
Diamond Kuts started honing her mixing skills at a young age.
It wasn’t long before she took matters into her own hands and promoted herself through captivating mixtapes.
Once the DJ established herself in the vibrant club scene, the world couldn’t ignore her magnetic presence.
The airwaves of Power 99 (WUSL) embraced her with open arms, and she became a tour DJ.
In 2014, Diamond Kuts released Trap Ville, a four-track EP.
Check Out These Legendary Black Women DJs
These Black women Djs have shaped the landscape, empowering future generations and showcasing that talent knows no boundaries.
Their contributions, accolades, and unwavering commitment to their art form have solidified their positions as music icons.
They changed the DJing world with their extraordinary presence, and their legacies will resonate for years.