Music News

The Tastemaker

You wouldn´t think ¨Invest in our children´s future¨ would mean buying a dusty set of turntables and a Gemini mixer, but in the case of WEDR-FM (99.1 Jamz) personality DJ Entice, his mother´s $100 was a worthy investment. ¨I was in high school and I always wanted to DJ,¨ Entice says. ¨A cat gave me headphones, a big crate of records, two turntables, and a mixer for $100. It worked out pretty well.¨

Within many circles at this point in his career, DJ Entice is a highly recognized name, and his weekly Drive at Five radio program couldn´t enjoy a better time slot, but the 25-year-old has traveled a long road to get there, mixed with hard work and a good deal of luck.

¨I just kept practicing and practicing,¨ Entice, born Lucien Jacquemin, says during a recent in-studio interview. He met DJ Khaled, of 99 Jamz, who got him some club gigs. ¨From there, Cedrick Hollywood, who was the P.D. [program director] here at 99, he heard about me and brought me in, and the radio just took off.¨

That´s a fairly humble version of the way it all went down. According to Entice, the day he met Khaled, Khaled asked him to open for him at a club later that night. The young DJ, 18 at the time, was immediately on the spot. ¨It was a little nerve-wracking, definitely,¨ Entice says. ¨But once you see people dance and having a good time, you kind of smooth into it.¨

Before joining 99 Jamz, Entice, who is of mixed Brazilian and French heritage, also worked at Florida International University´s radio station, and bounced between a few pirate stations as well.

When he´s not doing radio, Entice also DJs at clubs, something he´s done for the past seven years. He brings that gritty sensibility with him into the studio every day; listeners can hear it in his on-air swagger. Mainstream-radio DJs often are all about the glitz and glamour of the music industry, but Entice seems to get something purer from his art. ¨I just enjoy the reaction you get when you´re at a party, you drop a record, and the whole crowd goes crazy,¨ he says. ¨My biggest thing is knowing that people left having a great time. Fuck the money; fuck the fame. I get the high of knowing that people are really partying and it´s because of me.¨

Entice has stayed focused on the greater good of urban music culture and its up-and-coming artists. He´s helped countless local artists get airplay, and he enjoys veering from hip-pop standards to introduce listeners to lesser-known acts. ¨In my mind, the main thing that I´m on right now is really just breaking records,¨ he says. ¨Taking new artists that aren´t getting a chance and putting them out there. Like [Carol City rapper] C-Ride -- I went hard on C-Ride, and he´s got a deal now.¨

¨He´s going be the next big local DJ,¨ Miami-based rapper Joe Hound says of Entice. ¨That´s because he respects local music, so he gets the same support we get. He doesn´t care where you´re from. Plus, he´s an Epidemic DJ, so you know he doin´ something right.¨

Entice isn´t actually signed to Epidemic, the South Florida-based hip-hop label, but he handles road-DJing responsibilities for the outfit, and he has other side projects too that prove he´s not afraid of working hard. Still, there are signs that his gig as a prime-time DJ on 99 Jamz is starting to sink into his psyche.

DJing nightclubs may have led to Entice´s plush position, but he´s quick to admit that his current job is much easier than grinding in the club circuit. Playing clubs is tough at times, he says, ¨because you really got to worry about the people who are in front of you, but on radio, you don´t get to see the reaction. In the clubs, you play one record that´s wrong, people could turn around and walk out, tell you to your face you´re a piece of shit or you´re wack. Honestly, to me, radio is a lot easier. You get to experiment more.¨

Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, and in an industry that prizes unique styles, people trying to imitate your DJ techniques constitutes flat-out respect. ¨I got style that no one else has,¨ Entice brags. ¨Not to be on some cocky shit, but a lot of times, I go out and I hear a lot of DJs trying do the same thing I do on the radio every day. To me, when I´m on the radio, when I´m in the club, my main thing is, what can I do that´s going to separate me from everybody else? There might be a Jim Jones record and he´s mentioning a record from, like, the ´80s, and I´ll cut in and actually play that record. I do shit different.¨

Although Entice was born and raised in Miami, he says he feels called to be the DJ who gets Broward where it needs to be. ¨Broward has a lot of talented artists,¨ he says, but ¨there are a lot of little beefs going on amongst the Broward artists, and that holds them back a little. Broward got it, I´m not gonna front. It´s just a matter of coming out and letting yourself be known.¨

With a possible album coming out -- Entice also moonlights as a producer -- and mixtapes with Currency from Cash Money and Stack$ from SOBE Entertainment all coming to fruition, Entice knows how important it is to stay focused. ¨You gotta stay humble,¨ he says, ¨because a lot of DJs get gassed up, and they don´t realize that you gotta pay a lot of dues as a DJ, just like anything else. Don´t try and DJ parties and you´re not ready. A lot of times, you think you´re ready and you´re not ready. When you go to the club and you´re opening up for a headliner like DJ Khaled or DJ Irie, don´t just play all the hits -- do something to stand out.¨

Entice has already won two awards from the Annual Mix Show Power Summit, including Rookie of the Year and Afternoon Mix Show of the Year, so clearly he´s found a craft where he can excel. He knows his success comes not just from hard work but from the support of the people. Don´t let all the side projects fool you: Entice hopes to be on the radio for years to come.

¨I love working at 99 Jamz -- I wouldn´t change a thing about it,¨ he says. ¨The fact that I get to come in and make people enjoy their day by doing what I really love to do -- you can´t beat that.¨

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Andre Uter