Detroit DJ Lenn Swann aka Leonard Adams has more than 17 years experience in Djing. He’s a scratch DJ. He has participated to the beginning of turntablism in the early 80’s.
DJ Lenn Swann has performed on the same stage than many famous performers such as Run DMC, Eminem, Outkast, Linkin Park and many others. He’s been awarded a triple platinum plaque for scratching on Eminem’s song ’97 Bonnie and Clyde. He’s also been the Source Magazine’s Detroit Unsigned Hype Champion.
He has won many contests: among them Detroit Kool Mixx DJ Championship in 2001.
Less known facts about the Detroit DJ:
-He has helped Eminem out in the past. He was supposed to perform at the Wetlands club in NYC with Eminem. The NYC crew-the Cocoa Brovas was opposed to them and didn’t want Detroit emcees to win in any case. That’s why that had messed up Eminem’s tape:
‘They told Em if he wanted the mic, he had to come get it. They had sabotaged his DAT tape (of backing music), so all we had for music was scratching.’
Despite performing under particular difficult conditions, without any music, but DJ Swann’s scratching), the crowd didn’t really care about the messed up tape, so Em and DJ Swann could perform anyway:
‘But the crowd didn’t mind that the tape was messed up. NY’s a hip hop town, they respected that it was just an MC and a DJ.’ (DJ Swann)
-DJ Swann has also provided the sound for D12’s MC Big Proof when he won the Unsigned Hype in 1999 in the Source Magazine.
-He has also toured with Detroit group Slum Village.
DJ Lenn Swann is at the top of the 15 scratch DJ’s in the world and in the top 10 in the USA. Besides his passion for scratching, he is also known for his high quality skills as a battle emcee.
He is not as well known as he deserves it, which is mainly due to the role of the DJ in hip hop, as he points it out:
‘In hip hop, there’s always an unsung hero and it’s usually the DJ.’