To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

Success M usi c SO HARD FOR THE MONEY An original in a sea of imitators, Magic City music scene bastion Mr. Brown is on strike for the rights of DJs around the world to get paid what they deserve. T E X T BY RYA N JA R R E LL Lines around the block. Club owners intent that you need to be the one spinning their party nights. Legions of people moving to the groove you’ve concocted. To many amateurs wishing to edge in on the local DJ scene, this is more than a dream. It’s an ideal. But for veteran DJ Mr. Brown, a fixture known nationwide for having premier taste in all things melodic, it was beginning to look like a nightmare. One of our city’s sole vinyl-only DJ’s in a culture where everyone with a MacBook thinks they’re a songsmith, Mr. Brown noticed that, while areas like Wynwood were exploding, the rates he and his fellow spinners were paid remained stagnant. “Most clubs pay, on average, $75-$100 an hour, but that’s not really reflective on how much money your party makes,” says Brown, who began DJing in high school. “You could have a night where you’re bringing in tens of thousands of dollars and it doesn’t affect your pay.” Now making a living buying and selling vinyl, and having not practiced his craft and passion in a year and a half, the question remains: Will Mr. Brown and others of his trade eventually negotiate a pay rate equitable to both themselves and club owners? Or will they have to find new ways to ply their trade independent of established clubs and bars? Only time will tell, but hopefully the music never stops. TOP TRACKS Earl Cunningham: I Want My Pay Johnny K.: Bills To Pay Lucille Boga: Payday Blues Jimmy Riley: When Will We Be Paid Cash Brown: Pay Me 56