Houston’s night life is heating up and with it are the men and women who supply its soundtrack. Meet six of the male DJs who are on fire.

It’s gotten to a point in the past couple months at functions that I can tell who is in the booth without even looking. I’m not even just talking about our established H-Town DJs such as Waxaholics, Dayta, DJ Mr. Rogers, or the Chopstars…I’m talking about the new generation of music mixers that are taking over house parties and clubs alike. In no particular order, here are six of them to look out for:

9th Sage (@9thSage)

9th Sage (@9thSage)

  1. 9th Sage

I mentioned 9th Sage before when I talked about the Open Source party. He’s first in line to become a big deal, as he is making connections around the globe as a result of his online mixes.

How to know he’s in the booth: 9th Sage is good for mixing hip hop vocals and house tracks, keeping the party jumping without alienating anybody: if you can’t rock with the words, you can at least move to the beat. A man of few words even outside the booth, 9th won’t be the one to grab the mic and tell people to put their hands up, but with the mixes he provides, no coercing is necessary.

DJ MentoZ Fresh (@MentoZFresh)

DJ MentoZ Fresh (@MentoZFresh)

2. MentoZ Fresh

MentoZ Fresh is making a comeback to the Houston night life after a brief respite, but he’s just what we’ve been needing. A newcomer to making mixes, his concepts can be heard on his SoundCloud. You’ll find him DJing every second Friday night at Boondocks for their “Nah Mean” event, other nights at Boondocks with Kay Illah and Hyro for 1Up, and at other venues across the city.

How to know he’s in the booth: MentoZ Fresh isn’t going to play your everyday, run of the mill, garden variety songs. A true music mixologist, MentoZ has been known to flawlessly mix songs from Broadway musicals, the Fresh Prince theme song, the “Macarena”, and Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” in with your favorite hip hop and pop bangers to make the dance floor interesting and fun.

Mike C (@imjustmikec)

Mike C (@imjustmikec)

3. Mike C

More well-known as local rapper Doeman’s DJ, Mike C is just really getting started branching out on his own. When he’s in the booth, it’s clear that Mike C can stand on his own as a separate artist.

How to know he’s in the booth: The whole DYNA fam has a flair for the ’90s as musical preference. When Mike C is behind the booth (which usually starts off with “Sippin on Some Sizzurp” as kind of warning sign that you’re stepping into his mix), listeners will get a breather from the trap music and mumble rap and get to jam out to some of their faves from their high school days, as well as some of the less abrasive songs we currently hear on the radio.

DJ IV (@IVLeagueHard - Twitter; @IVLeague_hard - IG)

DJ IV (@IVLeagueHard – Twitter; @IVLeague_hard – IG)

4. DJ IV

I have IV listed here as “up-and-coming” when really, he could school everyone else on this list, and if my memory serves correctly, he actually did teach Mike C. With a history deep in the music scene on account of his dad an uncle, IV has extensive clout in the Houston hip hop scene and is now the owner and founder of indie label, Killem Collective. He is currently working on a series of mixes that can be found on his site, www.killemcollective.com. You can find him DJing The Score on Thursday nights at Dean’s Downtown and at other various gigs across the city.

How to know he’s in the booth: DJ IV has a way of seamlessly fitting funk, hip hop, and pop into one set, in no particular order. In fact, there are times when you won’t even realize what you’re hearing until you catch on to the fact that you know all the words – it’s just the beat that’s different. The funky-freshest of DJs on this list, DJ IV is one who won’t let the dance party die.

DJ Good Grief (@htowngood)

DJ Good Grief (@htowngood)

5. DJ Good Grief

Good Grief, another DJ at The Score at Dean’s Downtown on Thursday night, is DJing’s unlikely hero. A man of few words, Good Grief lets his music and ubiquity speak for itself.

How to know he’s in the booth: DJ Good Grief is a fan of the funk, just like IV, but he’s also one to pay homage to the hits of his childhood. If you’re in your mid to late twenties, Good Grief will put you in a nostalgic mood with the theme song to Men in Black mixed with beats from the ’60s, as well as those high school bops we’ll be telling our future kids about when we’re arguing over which station to play in the car.

DJ AudiTory (@djauditory)

DJ AudiTory (@djauditory)

6. DJ AudiTory

Last but certainly not least is DJ AudiTory, known for his way around the turntable as well as the screw tapes he makes for new releases that need an H-Town flair. Chopping and screwing for his Web site, www.djauditory.com, is more than just a hobby for him – it has become a career, and with recent nods from Fader about his purpling of Solange’s A Seat at the Table, it is a career that looks increasingly profitable.

How to know he’s in the booth: It seems that DJ AudiTory might be the one on this list that you’ll want to be in the mix at your house party. In the mix enough to know all the current songs, he doesn’t shy away from “oldie-but-goodies,” allowing for a line dance to break out or an ironically fun “Juju On That Beat” battle. Get those vocal chords ready, too. DJ AudiTory will most certainly kill the track to let you and your friends belt out that rift that only your shower and the inside of your car has heard.

 

I’m anticipating the outrage some readers will have at which DJs I “slept on.” But that’s what the comments section is for – let’s talk about it! Let me know who I left off, just be gentle.

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