The DJ Mag top 100 has been a contest that has driven a lot of controversy over the years of its existence. Many people would argue that the DJ Mag poll doesn’t accurately reflect who the world’s top DJs are, criticizing the legitimacy of the voting system. One addition to the voting that sparked more controversy than others was the integration of voting into Facebook, as it would obviously be more advantageous to the DJ with the most Facebook Likes, not the one with the most talent.
The recent rise of EDM only makes this controversy worse. With EDM becoming almost mainstream, the criteria that people will be voting on will differ. For example, an EDM listener who’s only heard some EDM songs on the radio a couple times will vote for Avicii because ‘Levels is like the best song ever’, or vote for Skrillex because ‘I love dubstep, I have all their songs’. The DJ Mag Top 100 poll is becoming less of a representation of the best DJ, but more a representation of the most popular and the most commercially successful.
All these factors show why the relevance of the Top 100 poll is so hotly debated. Many DJs argue that the poll just doesn’t matter anymore. However, no matter how much the poll might be inaccurate, it still remains the only poll that is widely known in the world of DJing. In the meantime, we don’t really have an alternative, so the DJ Mag Top 100 poll will stay relevant until then. Many DJs still use their position in the DJ Mag Top 100 to attract more gigs, sell more records and make more money. A spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 can really help a DJ with his career.
So with something so valuable, we’re not surprised that the latest incident related to the poll occurred. This ebay ad has been around for quite some time but DJ Mag finally addressed it. The ad claims that it can buy you 1000 votes on the Top 100 poll, advertising that you can become a ‘Superstar DJ’.
DJ Mag’s managing director claims that he views the ad “simply as an attempt to discredit the poll”, and that “DJ Mag takes the issue of cheating in the Top 100 DJs poll very seriously. As the guardians of the biggest poll in dance music, we do all we can to eliminate cheating in the poll so as to make this the most authoritative snapshot of a DJ’s popularity and visibility at any one time.” He goes on to defend that the creator of the ad wouldn’t be able to deliver what he advertised, and also that they would know if someone cheated anyways, as it’s easy to spot on the back-end of the voting system.
However DJ Mag does mention that there have been a number of DJs that were being investigated for fraudulent votes, and that they will be ‘naming and shaming’ them by the end of the week. So it seems that some DJs really are cheating just o get a spot in the top 100, whether through the ebay ad or not. After many DJs were exposed for having obviously rigged Facebook Likes numbers and Twitter followers this year, it seems that this is another follow-up.
What has the EDM scene come down to that DJs are buying their popularity, instead of earning it? Buying Likes, buying followers, buying votes, it seems the scene is getting a lot dirtier. DJs might be today’s rockstars, but they don’t have to act like a bunch of commercialized businessmen. I’m not against the rise of EDM and the fact that it’s no longer underground, but if this is how DJs will act now that they have their stardom, EDM will lose the very values that it was founded on.