More than 100 years ago, in 1909, a 16-year-old California resident named Ray Newby used a spark transmitter to play records. Newby was a college student at the time, and he used it to share news and information as well as play records. Many credit Newby as the very first DJ. This makes sense to us because who better understands the importance of lively events and spreading information that a college student? 111 years later and the craft of disc jockeying aka DJing is now more popular than ever.
Whether famous or personally, everyone knows at least one Top HBCU DJ. Because historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have a lot of social gatherings, DJs have a critical role to play on campus. Campus is a social marketplace. The feng shui, atmosphere, and mood when campus congregates relies heavily on the music played, and the mind behind the playlist. If the DJ gets it right, attendees are having the time of their lives and are creating college memories that will last forever–and if the DJ messes up, the party isn’t legendary and people will likely leave.
This year, the Top HBCU DJ competition returned better than ever, bringing in more than 95,000 votes– more than any other year. This year’s winner is DJ TM, Tre’Mon Frink, of Winston-Salem State University. Congratulations to the Rams, on another TOP HBCU DJ!
The top 3 DJs alone brought in 73,483 votes, more than 75% of the entire competition. This is a noticeable 20% or 20,000 vote gap between the top 3 DJs and the rest of the Top 5 winners. For the first time since the competition began in 2014, we were pleased to have female DJs nominated, hailing from Howard University, Morgan State University, Tougaloo College, Savannah State University, Tuskegee University, and Norfolk State University.
1DJ TM – WSSU
Tre’Mon Frink is representing Wilmington, NC and is a junior communications major, speech minor at Winston-Salem State University. Frink received a total of 28,282 votes, amounting to 29.7% of all votes cast this year. The WSSU Rams are no stranger to this competition, as they have had a TOP HBCU DJ all but one year, since the competition began in 2014. DJ TM takes home the very first, No.1 spot for the university.
“If I was one of the 2020 Top HBCU DJs I would feel accomplished. This achievement will display how my lifestyle as a professional DJ has helped continue to cultivate the culture of HBCUS.”
2DJ Ojagga – NCA&TSU
Obi Nwogbo is from Raleigh, NC, by way of Nigeria at North Carolina A&T State University. Nwogbo will graduate in the fall with a degree in business administration. For the second year in a row, the NCAT Aggies place in the TOP HBCU DJ Competition. In the last competition, DJ K Grady earned the No. 1 spot, with 12,775 votes. This year, DJ Ojagga nearly doubled this number! He walks away with 23,997 votes, 25.2% of the votes cast in this year’s competition.
“If I was one of the top 2020 TOP HBCU DJs I would use my platform to highlight and push that fact that there many other different cultures“
3DJ Ricoveli – Morehouse
Dre’Shawn Spearman is a junior, sociology major representing Fayetteville, NC. Ricoveli held his position at the top throughout the entire voting period, resulting in 21,204 votes, a very notable 22.3% of all votes submitted for the 2020 Top HBCU DJ. Morehouse College’s president Dr. David A. Thomas even gave DJ Ricoveli his stamp of approval, along with Killer Mike. When Diddy made an infamous visit to Morehouse, none other than Ricoveli was on the one’s and two’s.
“If I was one of the 2020 Top HBCU DJs, I would begin a campaign that highlights the significance of HBCU-campus culture. I think this contributes to a very imperative correlation between student engagement and student enrollment.”
4DJ ASH B – NCCU
Ashton Burns is a graduating senior at North Carolina Central University hailing from Wilmington, NC. Burns is studying business administration with a concentration in marketing. With more than 2,277 votes, DJ AshB received 2.39% of the entire vote! DJ AshB was also nominated more than any HBCU DJ in the history of the competition, beginning in 2014. “If it’s not AshB, it’s trash, B” was regularly DM’d, every single day from Burns’ fellow NCCU eagles and colleagues.
“If I was one of the 2020 TOP HBCU DJs: it would mean everything because it was a goal I set for myself back in 2016 when I first got on campus & it would show my hard work & dedication paying off. It would also show my huge support system. It’s an honor to be able to be mentioned because of the ones who paved the way before me, I looked up to are on the TOP DJ’s list years before me.”
5 DJ King Kai – Clark Atlanta
Makai Riley is a senior mass media arts major at Clark Atlanta University who is holding his own for Queens, NY. Riley earned a 2.04% of the total vote, an impressive 1,941 votes, total. The Atlanta University Center, (consisting of Spelman College, Morehouse, and CAU), should be proud, as they claim 2 of the Top 5 2020 HBCU DJs.
“If I was one of the 2020 TOP HBCU DJs it would prove I followed my dream of being both a full-time student and DJ, never giving up my dream no matter how hard it got.”
We’d like to send an honorable mention to these ladies, for paving the way and wish them a happy Women’s History Month: MorganKTA & DJ Magic – Howard University, DJ Pye – Norfolk State University, DJ Tyrite – Savannah State University, DJ Deshara – Tougaloo College and DJ Thundacat of PVAMU.
Former HBCU DJs represent the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Hampton University, Howard University, Bowie State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University (multiple), Florida A&M University (multiple), Prairie View A&M University, Winston-Salem State University (multiple), North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University and South Carolina State University.
This year’s list featured 38 DJs, representing 27 HBCUs, and not all nominees made it to the ballot. Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners. View 2016, 2015 and 2014.