Longtime Columbus DJ adds to his growing list of events
Labeled the most-sampled drummer in hip-hop history, Clyde Stubblefield provided the rhythms for some of James Brown's most danceable songs, including “Funky Drummer.”
“I want to bump the floor,” Brown rasps on the track.
“It's like pushing you to dance,” said Otis Sharp, aka DJ O Sharp, who will host “Bump the Floor: Brunch Edition,” a dance party at Two Truths on Sunday, Feb. 4. “We're going to play a lot of disco, a lot of house music [and] a lot of '70s and '80s, party-driven, danceable stuff.”
Though Sharp has a decades-long career behind the turntables, he isn't shy about hitting the floor.
“Dancing was how I got started,” he said, recalling his entree into hip-hop, which also included dabbling in graffiti and collecting sought-after cassette tapes in cities from Cleveland to New York. In 1993, he met DJ Rich NYCe Jones, and they formed a dance crew. By the late '90s, they were spinning in local nightclubs such as Mecca.
Around 2005, Sharp took a strength-in-numbers approach to DJing by forming a crew, “The Usual Suspects,” which included notable DJs like Krate Digga and J Rawls. “We felt like it was DJs against the promoters at a time where they would low-ball us,” he said.
But being surrounded by multiple DJs meant Sharp had to find his unique sound, especially during their stint at the now-closed club the Cove. “If you've got seven DJs playing … what are you going to play?” said Sharp, who earned the nicknames “The Closer,” “Mr. 81 points” (after Kobe Bryant's scoring explosion in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors) and “Mr. 9th Inning.”
“You had to bring the night to a space where it had a climax and an end. To me, that's what ‘The Closer' does,” Sharp said.
Also a producer, Sharp's longevity in the Columbus hip-hop scene allowed him to cross paths with late, larger-than-life figures like hype man King 7even — “He was the battery in the back. He wouldn't let me have a bad night,” Sharp said — and rapper Nes Wordz.
Following a break from DJing and a short stint in Atlanta, Sharp returned to Columbus and helped organize the “ReDo Vinyl Day Party,” which is a popular mainstay at the Avalon. “We had to find a space where DJs could perform where there wasn't the pressure of playing the new radio hit,” Sharp said.
He hopes to continue to grow the “ReDo,” as well as “Bump the Floor” and “Groove Theory,” a new, laid-back happy hour at the Pelican Room. He's also working on an album of new music.
“I just want to stay busy,” he said. “I just want to stay on the turntables.”