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What Is The DJ Mag Top 100 DJ List Really About?

It’s back, and the floodgates are open. As voting for DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs commences, the EDM scene is overflowing with images and videos of DJs advertising for votes. From posts on Facebook and Twitter to advertisement slots on the DJ Mag homepage, hundreds of DJs are trying to launch themselves onto the list. With so much promotion and hype flying around, it’s hard to see the list for what it really is. The list isn’t about the fame, the fortune, or even the DJs; it's all about the fans.

Fans make up everything in the EDM community. Songs wouldn’t be played, producers wouldn’t rise, and festivals wouldn’t exist without them. Everything in the dance music scene revolves around fans. They’re the Regina George of EDM; they decide who can and can’t sit with us. Not all of them drive Porsches or own million-dollar mansions, but they all love to feel acknowledged. The feeling of acknowledgement is what gives the DJ Mag Top 100 so much appeal.

What’s really being acknowledged is a fan’s taste in music. In the dance music industry, telling someone they have great taste in music is like telling them that they’ve been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Some could even speculate that fans feel the DJ Mag Top 100 is almost like a test of their loyalty towards their favorite artists. The fans sometimes even create EDM versions of Twilight “Team Edward/Team Jacob” posses to push their favorites to the top.

Many artists have taken to their social media to express their opinions on the matter. DJ/Producer Paris Blohm tweeted a picture titled: “My thoughts on DJ mag top 100.” 

Blohm points out one defining factor about the poll: it’s a popularity contest. The list is based on how many votes a DJ or group can accumulate within a given amount of time. It doesn’t mean that any one artist is technically better than another; it simply implies that there are differences in the artists’ audiences. Furthermore, it can mean that some people are willing to spend a lot of money on advertising in order to get votes, as Gareth Emery pointed out last year. The various artists that make the list are irrelevant so long as the fan votes for the music they love. The idea behind the Top 100 isn’t about who’s the most talented or skilled; it’s about fans standing behind their favorites DJ’s whether they make the list or not.

Some call it a joke, some call it a test of their professional ability, some call it a marketing tool, and some refuse to call it anything for the sake of indifference. Any way you look at it, the list still happens every year. The DJ Mag Top 100 helps established and aspiring artists advance their careers in the EDM community, but more importantly it helps remind us that our fans are what really matters.

Written by Jimmy Schleisman

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of EDM.com.

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