Telekom Electronic Beats

Juan Atkins Calls Out DJ List For Excluding Black Artists

If you follow mainstream culture even a little, chances are you’ve noticed the controversy around this year’s Oscar nominations, which—once again—are overwhelming comprised of white actors. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith led calls for a boycott, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite began trending on Twitter, and some film veterans paid dearly for counter-accusations of the imaginary phenomenon of “reverse racism” (ahem, Charlotte Rampling). Eventually, the Academy director announced a plan to overhaul the voting body’s membership to counter a mounting “diversity crisis.”

Electronic music doesn’t really have an equivalent of the Oscars, but it does have The DJ List, a San Francisco-based directory that publishes a top 100 DJ ranking based on user votes, search engine relevance and a proprietary algorithm. Now, Detroit techno heavyweight and Slices star Juan Atkins has publicly lampooned the outlet for overlooking DJs of color. “To my dismay, their top 100 DJs list from #1 to #98 are all white,” he wrote on Facebook. “The only 2 black DJs on the list are #99 and #100… That’s a slap in the face of the entire black race.”

Resident Advisor is reporting that Atkins’ claims have largely been met with support, with David Demember from The DJ List saying that the outlet is actively looking for ways to “better reflect the diversity in our industry and achieve the goals of what we’re trying to do.” Find more details here.

Update: Apparently electronic music does have an awards show, and it’s airing on April 23 on Fox.