An eclectic crowd gathers inside Hollywood's Club Bluster to hear spoken-word poets talk about love, sex, politics, revolution, or anything else that comes to mind. They're here for a weekly event, titled Mellow Mondays, that's been going strong for the past four months.
The musical glue that holds everything together is DJ Make It Do What It Do. His nom de spin is surely derived from updated urban vernacular, but it's perhaps as fitting a name as there is for any local DJ. The 26-year-old Miami Lakes resident didn't begin pursuing his craft until age 20 and started playing out only two years ago. But he's already having a big impact in the neosoul/spoken-word community. He has residencies at Club Bluster and the Literary Café in Miami on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Why spin exclusively at neosoul and poetry events? " 'Cause I'm a poet as well," he says. "Whenever I would go to poetry spots, I would notice a person can get up and read a heartfelt poem, and then the DJ would play Trick Daddy's 'Take It to da House.' And I always had it in my mind, 'Why did the DJ play that when he could have played this or this?' "
That frustration led him to start working artists like Dwele, Eric Roberson, and Jill Scott into his sets. It's why people in the audiences where he spins are always commenting on his ability to play "the perfect song" to follow each poem. Amazingly, Make It Do What It Do says it only takes him about 20 seconds after a poet has started a piece to start digging through his collection for the right song to follow it up.
"Number one, what helps me out is actually listening to the poem," he says. "If it's sad or angry as hell, based off of emotions — and also if the poem has a chorus to it, I'll start searching for what I think should follow it up."
In addition to working poetry spots, folks can tune in to his radio show every Sunday between 9 and 11. p.m. on 94.5 FM, an underground station where he spins — yup, you guessed it — neosoul and old-school hip-hop. When asked if he ever ventures out from behind the turntable to spit poetry of his own, he laughs. "I still write; I just choose not to recite," he says. "I'm focusing on the music, and that keeps me on my toes."
DJ Make It Do What It Do's Current Top Five
1. Fonzworth Bentley, "Everybody"
2. Robin Thicke, "Magic"
3. 9th Wonder & Buckshot, "Hold It Down"
4. Little Brother, "Dreams"
5. Little Brother, "When Everything Is New"