Your Guide to Local Hip-Hop Entertainment, DJ Delaney & Power

For those of you who don’t know, DJ Delaney, whose government name is Douglas Layne, is the Co-CEO of Power n Soul Pro., along with Br°s Mueller GarcÇs. DJ Delaney is Champaign-Urbana’s local pusher-man for good music, especially hip-hop.

DJ Delaney cemented himself in the campus community as a DJ in the late ’90s but didn’t form Power n Soul Pro. until 2002.

“We were two separate companies, Collective Soul Promotions and Powerhouse Promotions [run by Reginald Jones] and we came together randomly, and put on an amazing weekend of parties for grad weekend in 2002. When we were done we couldn’t deny that we had to merge these two groups together,” DJ Delaney said. Hence, the name “Power n Soul.”

After saving up enough money from mowing lawns, DJ Delaney got his first set of turntables in 1994, and the first record he played on them was Gang Starr’s Mass Appeal. His cousin taught him how to spin over the phone: Delaney in Chicago, his cousin, DJ Rasta Root, in Atlanta. DJ Rasta Root also happens to DJ for rapper Phife Dog, who is a member of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest.

“What really made me want to DJ was listening to remixes, listening to the a capella of one song and the lyrics of another thinking, wow, I could do that,” says DJ Delaney. His father was a music lover and brought him up listening to musicians such as Al Green, Paul Simon, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few, which, in turn, broadened his love and understanding of music. Before he got his first complete set of turntables however, he used his father’s belt-driven turntable to scratch and spin along with his brand new Technic turntable and destroyed his father’s in his process. His talent for mixing and blending matured by invoking Soka and Calypso into his spinning.

Many DJs do not have the ability and dexterity that DJ Delaney has, and that is what separates him from the pack and arguably has been his secret not only to longevity in a brutal profession, but it is also an aspect of his lucrative entrepreneurial endeavors.

Power n Soul Pro. is currently successful throughout Champaign-Urbana, Indianapolis, Chicago, and will soon expand to St. Louis. They have relationships throughout the surrounding community with businesses and people alike and continue to host hip-hop events without any violence — unfortunately, an all too common theme at most hip-hop parties.

When asked how the company achieves this perfect record, DJ Delaney replied, “It’s about keeping it balanced, basically taking people on a rollercoaster ride so it’s not just one constant downhill drop … a lot of DJs do that, they just take you up and drop you at 2 a.m. until there is basically just nothing else to do [but fight].”

This is an example of the complexity of DJing and also an example of a responsible one. DJ Delaney’s role is like an extended social counselor who guides someone through their journey of enjoyment for the evening. You can’t live in the past, like Common said in the song “Chi-City,” “This ain’t ’94 Joe, we can’t go back” — but we also can’t abandon what is trendy otherwise your tenure as an entertainer is limited. DJ Delaney and Power n Soul Pro. chose not to limit themselves on either ends of the spectrum, and as a result have formed a lucrative business.

“Power n Soul Pro. can bring together people of different walks of life, and you’re guaranteed to have an enjoyable time. We offer quality entertainment for minority students as well as others. Not only do we provide great music, we strive to create strong friendships [and] bonds between people who may not ordinarily get to know each other,” Ashley Hooks has said, publicist for Power n Soul Pro.

Be sure to check out the numerous Power n Soul Pro. events each week on their Web site or by joining their Facebook group. One Love.

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