You can Tweet to, friend-request, “like,” and even poke at your idols on basic social networking sites—whether celebrity, DJ, musician or the odd YouTube hero—but that doesn’t mean they’ll respond, or even care. But for artists and DJs on top of their game, an exclusive social network (for them, by them) acts as the meeting ground for serious music aficionados to connect, break in new music and provide support and promotion for one another. Their moniker may not do them justice, but their pride in their online community does. They are the Bumsquad.
Founded in 2004 by Latin Prince, the Croatian DJ and producer famed for his work on Bay Area and Los Angeles radio stations, BumSquadDJz.com has reached an international level, acquiring 4-6 million hits monthly. The global team of scene-scourers—including well-known artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Chamillionaire and Naughty by Nature who allow fellow Bums to be the first to expose their music—represent New York to Croatia, and for the past two years, Las Vegas.
A collective of established Vegas DJs such as Crime, Mika Gold, N.I.N.O. and even DJ Scene have worked with, grown through and today continue to rep the 702 chapter. They throw “takeover” events on a regular basis at venues throughout the Valley. “We’re independent and work separately,” says regional PR representative Dustin Amato (pictured, center). “But in the end, the goal is to build our own network so we can gain more support, more ‘hail to the brothers’ and build up our local followers.”
Wanna be a bum? Regional managers accept online applications for determined artists, DJs and radio personalities. Words of advice from Amato: “Establish yourself in the game and show dedication and a desire to want to improve your ability. You can’t just come in and start scraping out food from the bowl without putting any in. We’re a team, a family, and we expect everyone to give as much as they get.”