You know the diet of a disc jockey. We eat and regurgitate sugar candies. Rising to number 7, here’s Beyonce’s hottest new hit, “On the fly.” I push a button, and phase out until the next dose of insanity. Fact is, Spotify, Pandora, and a host of internet radio stations are sidelining me. Generations have been born who don’t know what a disc jockey is. For me, the question is a bit more personal. What have I been? What am I to become?
The answer came with a 7:30 a.m. call. Jamal Alexander Bentley made the call from the 13th floor of the Indigo Marriott Hotel, a call that changed his life and mine. He was standing on the ledge of the balcony, reflecting his desperation with a call to me, the Sugar Daddy, like I had the skills or depth to talk a guy from jumping.
So Jamal tells me where he is, what he’s about to do, and explains he has picked a powder puff personality like me to provide him the trigger event. His gig: Play every song he asks for without commercial interruption, or he jumps. A joke, I’m thinking. I want to hang up. He tells me this is not a joke, and something in his voice convinces me.
The guy knows his music. “You been a disc jockey?” I ask. “I am you,” he says. “I am the you that wants to jump. I’m the “you” you have to pacify with one inane song after another. The music stops, and you’ll have a real thought, and a real thought will kill you.”