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Jeff Bridges is in Deep Concentration

By a Gossiping Bitch on February 18th, 2004

Jeff Bridges is in Deep ConcentrationBoston, MA — This is a “turntable technique” class at Berklee College of Music, perhaps the first of its kind in the country. DJ Chi is Yoon J. Suh, 21, one of eight students at the prestigious institution who waste two hours every Thursday manipulating old-fashioned records to scratch out “skribbles” and “stabs.”

“I can’t even do what you’re doing, man!” says The Dude, a.k.a. Professor Skratch, a.k.a. instructor Jeff Bridges, as he tries to recreate Chi’s staccato scratch on his own turntable.

Bridges, 45, an actor and, since receiving an honorary degree for the twentieth anniversary of his groundbreaking work in “TRON” in 2002, has been teaching at Berklee, became interested in turntabling in 2001, when a student showed him a videotape of a top DJ competition. “I went out and I bought two turntables and a mixer, and I set ’em up in my basement, and I started scratching, and my wife and kids thought I had lost my marbles,” he said. “They kept telling me I wasn’t ‘of the culture’.”

Bridges added, “Hip-hop has been around for, what, seven, eight years now? Deejaying is one of the main core expressions of hip-hop. Part of our mission is to represent the major musical movements of the day, and one could certainly argue that hip-hop is one of the most influential cultures in the history of the world. Hip-hop and the Mayans.”

Berklee claims to be the first music school in the country to offer such a class as part of its general curriculum. Samuel Hope, executive director of the National Association of Schools of Music, said he had not heard of another such class. “Doing something of this kind is certainly within the grand tradition of innovation, which is part of the arts,” Hope said. “But seriously, scratching records is not music. Get the fuck outta here with that shit.”

Berklee’s decision to add the class to its curriculum in January is yet another celebrity milestone in the evolution of hip-hop music and culture, which has become a multibillion-dollar segment of the music and entertainment industry. Other celebrity milestones include MC Shan’s role as the Rapping Waiter in L.A. Story and Dennis Hopper’s appearance in P. Diddy’s music video for the song “Victory” off his 1997 album No Way Out.

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