BPM 95 – Revenge of the Rebel DJ

I admit it I have a hard time throwing things away. I’m a collector. Accumulator? It’s not out of control, though. My entire apartment isn’t one big labyrinth of crap…just all of my closets, workspaces and stuff. Some of it’s not even worth the space it occupies. Let’s just say I’ve got some purging to do and an eBay account to open. If I haven’t pulled it out and played with it, or admired it since I first put some kind of value on it, it’s probably time to go.

Surveying all of my collectibles has me in appraisal mode. It’s hard to put a value on things today. Is that limited edition pair of whatevers I saw that gaggle of people waiting for on La Brea last week worth the coin someone is going to drop for them in 30 days online? I have a lot of classic music I’ve downloaded for free—like “Deep Inside” by Hardrive—but that didn’t stop me from paying $30 for the single on vinyl. Did you download Radiohead’s Rainbows? How much did you pay for it? Is the entire Miley Cyrus album really worth $15? What’s more valuable, your iPod or the music you have stored on it?

Creating something of value in a hyper-connected and oversaturated world isn’t easy. The Internet has definitely changed the print game. Music magazines will never break another band. TMZ will always scoop celebrity rags. Staying fresh isn’t necessarily about the latest and greatest. My favorite magazines have always been the ones intertwined with the culture/lifestyle they’re out to capture. The art of speaking to, not at, the readers is something many magazines fail to do.

This issue’s cover story isn’t your average fodder. I believe it has more soul than your typical piece. It’s our way of injecting a bit of that beating heart—that awkwardness and honesty of why we began as an independent zine out of our publisher’s bedroom more than 12 years ago—back into our vision. It’s about wanting to create something…special. But most importantly, we want to be inspired. Whether or not you’re a fan of this issue’s Rebel DJ Alliance, I hope you’ll pull this issue out of your closet a few years down the road and look at it the same way I see those old copies of Raygun magazine in a box in my closet—sans shelf life. They might not be worth shit on eBay, but I wouldn’t sell them if they were.