July 27th, 2009

DJ Prince Ice: Prince Among Thieves

DJ Prince Ice: Prince Among Thieves written by Preach Jacobs
When it comes to the music related careers, aging is more like dog years than those of people. The life span for musicians and radio DJs are considered short term since there’s always someone young and ambitious always trying to take your spot. That’s why it’s an impressive feat that South Carolina’s DJ Prince Ice is considered more than just a DJ, but rather called a “living legend.”

“I never gave myself that term, it was something that was given to me on air, and it stuck,” Prince Ice admits as he looks back on his on-air career in South Carolina. To celebrate he’s bringing old school legends like Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and Nice & Smooth to the Koger Center in October, a treat rarely visited in the metro.

“To be able to make it 20-years is a blessing,” Ice admits. “People always ask me how did I do it, and I just tell them that if you love what you’re doing, it’s second nature. The best way to do your job is to just do it.”

Locating in the south over 20-years ago via New Jersey, Ice, son of a minister entered the world of broadcasting world when on-air DJs had the more freedom to break an artist. Unfortunately he seems the industry in a totally different light.

“The difference between radio then and now, is that back in the day DJs played music and the people chose what they wanted, now stations decide what they want people to hear.”

Jobs that used to be held down by on air-personalities are now taken over by syndicated talk shows and music programming that is logged into a computer instead of being manually computed by someone in the studio. In understanding this, Ice recognizes that his career as an online personality, like the record store, is that of a dying breed.

“When I got started stations were owned by independent companies or a family. It was usually one owner until 1995. That year Broadcasting laws were de-regulated and allowed companies to own more stations, so then they bought in clusters.”

As a result the technology became more apparent and more stations played more of the same songs that were pushed by larger labels leaving it difficult for independent artists to get on the radio. Ice explains the consequences of new-age radio.

“Local and indy music was affected first. Songs need to be broken and mix shows were the only place independent artists could get a shot. Now, the labels decide what they want people to hear. It’s more about spins now than breaking a record and getting someone into rotation.”

If that wasn’t enough, jobs of hundreds or radio DJs around the nation are losing their jobs because of syndicated radio shows. If a station has the Steve Harvey Morning show, there’s no need for a local radio personality. According to Ice in a soon radio DJs will go the way of the Beta Mac. But he’s not worried.

“You don’t need radio these days to get a record deal. Technology is making it easier for artists to exposure on their own. Since major labels are raping artists financially people are looking for other avenues. But no matter what, people still love the DJs.”

DJ Prince Ice’s greatest asset is his personable nature. He’s easy to approach and always focuses on working with positive artists, acting as back-up DJ for many local artists, something that other local personalities would never do.

“I just love people and doing what I do. There are actually DJs around here with bodyguards. People can just walk up to me when thy see me at I-Hop. I love that. I love doing what I do.”

Prince Ice’s 20 Year Anniversary Show will be held Oct. 9th @ The Koger Center. More info click here or check out his site: http://www.myspace.com/djprinceice