DJ Nicar
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DJ Nicar

San Francisco, CA | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | SELF

San Francisco, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 1999
DJ Hip Hop EDM




"Deaf Rappers Fight to be Heard in a Field Dominated by Sound"

It was fall of 2011, and I was in a loading dock at Gallaudet University, the U.S.’s primary college for the Deaf and hard of hearing (HOH), for a campus party. Mylar laid on the floor reflected sharp green lasers and shot across the cave-like venue. The stage is packed, too, with a revolving rotation of DJs and rappers signing as they spat. Leading up to that night, many students effectively scared me with warnings. “Wait until tonight,” they told me through an interpreter. Multiple people emphatically advised earplugs. “If not, you’ll be Deaf, too!” one joked.

A sinister-looking stack of subwoofers didn’t threaten my loss of hearing as much as a loss of dinner. The actual music wasn’t any louder than a Boris concert, but the heavy vibrations were all-consuming. I visited the porta-potty just outside, hollering in a truly futile fashion when I heard what I thought was someone banging on the door. I stepped out and no one was even close. During several instances throughout my five-hour stay, I wondered if I might vomit.

It is shocking to me how astounded people are when they learn that Deaf people not only adore but also make music.

Prinz-D photo by Erik Tanner for WS
Rapper Darius “Prinz-D” McCall grew up in Birmingham, Alabama’s projects and there’s a trace of twang in his deep, smooth flow. He’s worked with a speech therapist for years to eliminate audio evidence of his Deafness and frankly, considering his performance and recordings, his hustle paid off. In general, his Southern-fried trappy style is on par with the chest-puffed, slurry delivery of say, Soulja Boy. Or T.I.

I first saw Prinz-D in 2011, in a basement rec room at Gallaudet. He stood tall and confident, dressed in all white, coolly holding the mic to his side until the beat dropped in. The grounding 808 sub-bass kick drums ignited the stage, his limbs and the audience. As a general rule with predominantly Deaf audiences, Prinz-D performs in both American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English. The ASL is compromised when he holds a microphone, which is one reason why most Deaf or HOH entertainers perform without one, opting instead to shout along to a track and focus the performance on accentuating the signs and dancing. Some members of the audience were clearly annoyed by his haphazard attention to signing, but in general, Prinz-D kept the crowd engaged. They were feeling it — literally.

This kind of response wasn’t always this way. Warren “Wawa” Snipe, a Deaf entertainer, kicked off his performance career without even a lukewarm reception. He first took the stage as a student at Gallaudet in the late ’80s. It took a lot of guts for Wawa, who’s originally from Philadelphia but now lives in North Virginia, to perform publicly — even just in front of his fellow students. His first attempt was cut short, when the panicked sound guys unplugged his set after two minutes. “They said, ‘Stop the music! What are you trying to do?’ I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I thought Deaf people supported each other,’” he told me when we met at a D.C. cafe in July of last year. He wears a hearing aid and reads lips well enough that we can communicate without signing, and is animated when talking about his career. “I was restless, restless. I was amped up, ready to go for it. And I did — several times…but people said, ‘A Deaf rapper is impossible.’”

Wawa photo by Erik Tanner for WS
Wawa explained that much of the opposition to his performance stemmed from the political climate in the Deaf community. Some detractors accused him of rejecting Deaf culture, claiming he was “trying to be part of the hearing community…’trying to be like these people.’ Over time, they’ve almost — and I say almost — come together into one Deaf community.”

National Association of the Deaf CEO Howard A. Rosenblum attributes much of the shift in attitude to the growing popularity of social media and video streaming sites like YouTube. “Deaf and hard of hearing people have started to reclaim sound in recent years, especially with the advent of new technology that makes music more accessible and visual,” he said via email. “Twenty years ago, music videos were done by studios with a huge amount of resources. But now anyone with a smartphone can create clever or compelling music videos. As a result, music videos have become more accessible to everyone.”

The arrival of easily homemade videos and apps like Shazam unlocked the puzzle of lyrics. Videos allowed sharper focus on the emotions and stories explored in the lyric content that had been previously a mystery. From Shazam, they could take the artist and title to research the song online — learning the specific lyrics and any surrounding narrative. It revealed a new poetic component, another facet to marvel over and mimic for a whole new audience and group of creators.

‘[Hearing artists] write their lyrics to the strings — they don’t pay as much attention to the drums. Deaf people really home in on the drums because that’s what they feel the most. — DJ Nicar’
Obviously, Deafness presents a major obstacle in a field dominated by sound. A person who grew up and mostly communicates in ASL approaches spoken American English as almost a second language. For starters, the sentence structure in signing is completely different, which means writing lyrics takes careful attention so that the words make sense to a hearing audience. D.C.-based rapper Shawn “Polar Bear” Self, who was born Deaf and raised in a Deaf family, explains it as follows: “If you’re a Deaf person who grew up in a Deaf school, you don’t have a strong understanding of English. In ASL, it’s not ‘I’m gonna go to the store. I’m gonna buy me some milk.’ It’s ‘me, you, go store.’” Developing a writing style that overlaps with the hearing world without alienating their core Deaf fans is tricky.

Polar Bear
Polar Bear photo by Erik Tanner for WS
Then there is the process of losing the “Deaf accent,” a slight speech impediment that can develop when a person doesn’t hear his or her own voice and adjust volume or annunciation subconsciously. Sometimes the accent so thick it obscures words or phrases completely. Polar Bear and Prinz-D say they take classes to shake theirs, but often they must rely on fully hearing ears to confirm their clarity. Many of the young men I spoke with speculated that producers feel nervous approaching Deafness as anything but a “disability,” guilting themselves out of providing honest feedback to the artists in the booth. One name that came up a lot in my research, though, was producer DJ Nicar, a Gallaudet alum who is also hearing — making him part of the approximately 5 percent minority of hearing students the school allows to enroll.

“He gets it,” Polar Bear said, explaining Nicar’s forthright approach to recording. He demands take after take until words are clearly enunciated. It’s a candor that is both appreciated and, sadly, rare. “I think there’s a misconception of inability,” Nicar said. “[Deaf people] just speak a different language and have a different culture. I feel a lot of hearing people haven’t recognized that [culture]. I learned about the culture part and didn’t really focus on the disability part.”

‘We don’t want pity. We’re happy to be who we are — Polar Bear’
Nicar works with both Deaf and hearing people. He said even though there are, of course, challenges when it comes to recording Deaf musicians, these artists also carry something of a superpower. “[Hearing artists] write their lyrics to the strings — they don’t pay as much attention to the drums,” he said. “Deaf people really home in on the drums because that’s what they feel the most.” As a result, Deaf artists have a potent knack for identifying and syncing with beats — a crucial component in rap.

This explains why Deaf people who are interested in making music tend to chase hip-hop specifically. Deaf DJ Kazeem Babatunde idolizes DJ Qbert, obsessing over proper proportions in levels and matching beats per minute while making rap mixes. “Trap music is all about drops, bass — it’s like a heavy short bass that kicks you real hard,” he said.

Kazeem photo by Erik Tanner for WS
“I look for heavy beats every day,” Polar Bear said. “Like trap beats that really go off the chart. Deaf people go crazy about it.”

So even after these artists nail a certain mark sound-wise, the next struggle involves being heard outside the Deaf community. They relentlessly strive to be taken seriously. Wawa explained a recent attempt to find management. He visited a small artist-management agency’s office, played his track and faced immediate skepticism. He says the potential manager told him, “This is not you. This can’t be you. This has got to be somebody else.”

“I said, ‘But this is my voice,’” Wawa told me. “He said, ‘If you can bring in this guy rapping and we pair him with you, we can do that. But I don’t think the world is ready for just you.’ I said, ‘But this is me! This is my voice! This is me!’ I said, ‘Have a good day. Kiss my ass.’” Wawa explained the same sort of stigma affecting hearing producers seeps into the management world. “I think it’s just fear of communication,” he said. “They think, ‘Deaf? He’s Deaf! Oh my god. I have to hire an interpreter, I gotta do all this stuff!’ That isn’t the case.”

Wawa said sometimes the hearing public’s uncertainty on how to interpret Deaf musicians’ work ends up crippling their efforts. “We get the door slammed in our face a lot,” he said. “Maybe sometimes some of us will go on the stage and say, ‘OK, no sign, just rap.’” Later, hearing people are confused because there’s no signing. “Well you won’t accept us when we sign,” Wawa said. “So we have to do it twice.”

The level of dedication these young men apply to their craft is astounding — but they reject any special treatment. “We don’t want pity,” Polar Bear said. “We’re happy to be who we are.” - Beca Grimm

"Deaf Rappers Fight to be Heard"

The song is “Vendetta” by Warren “Wawa” Snipe and DJ Nicar. Both are included in in the article Deaf Rappers Fight to be Heard in a Field Dominated by Sound. Wawa is deaf, and has been rapping since the late ‘80s. Rap producer Nicar is a hearing graduate of Gallaudet University who works with deaf rappers and DJs. The article also profiles rappers Prinz-D and Polar Bear, and tells of the impact deaf performers are making on the music scene. - Miss Cellania

"DJ Chris Styles releases music from his upcoming album"

DJ Chris Styles has released a string of well received singles from his upcoming album entitled #DMVRISING. Styles, aka “The Party Boy", is a popular DJ on WPGC 95.5, Fresh 94.7, and Sirius XM “The Heat”.

DJ Chris Styles "The Party Boy"
Photo by Sidney Thomas
The concept behind #DMVRISING is to give local independent hip-hop artists an opportunity to show and prove.

“I wanted to put out a compilation featuring the best in the DMV,” Chris Styles exclaims with pride. “I’m releasing a DJ Khaled type of album featuring all DMV artists. It’s time for me to play my part and do what I can to put on for the DMV.”

The first single was “DMV” featuring Garvey, Laelo Hood, Kingpen Slim, Phil Ade and Eastman Osborne. Styles then dropped “Bryce Harper” featuring FatBoiz, and he just released “I Don’t Believe In Love” with Adam E and SMCity last weekend. But the standout track (so far) is definitely “Ratchet” featuring DC Don Juan, Pinky Killacorn and Garvey.

Styles says “Ratchet” came together like it was meant to be a hit record.

“I reached out to DJ Nicar about some production. I sent the beat to DC Don Juan and I told him I need a hook for the ladies. He knocked it out and I told him to knock out a verse (as well). I then reached out to Pinky and Garvey about doing verses. Don, Pinky, Garvey and Nicar are true professionals.”

"Ratchet" is also available on the Team Next MC Mixtape Vol. 2 - hosted by DJ Sixth Sense and Uncle Yank.

#DMVRISING will officially be released later in the year. For more information about this project contact DJ Chris Styles at:, or visit his website: You can also follow him on Twitter: @djchrisstyles or Instagram: @djchrisstyles. - The Examiner

"DJ Chris Styles Feat. Don Juan, Pinky Killacorn & Garvey “Ratchet” [NEW MUSIC VIDEO]"

DJ Chris Styles has been rocking the DMV airwaves for over 13 years. From his early years mixing at HOT995 to now mixing on WPGC 95.5 & FRESH 94.7, Styles has been one of the best in the DMV. Styles has also been mixing nationally on SiriusXM Satellite Radio for over 7 years.

Chris says:
“Now that I’ve established myself as one of the best in the DMV, I felt like it was time to make my mark in the DMV music landscape” said Styles.

Once the calendar turned 2015, Styles began working on his first original music project. This would be a compilation of the top talent in the DMV. The album is called #DMVRISING with a due date later in 2015. Styles recently dropped the lead single from the project called “Ratchet,” the DJ Nicar produced slapper features three DMV OG’s in the music game, DC Don Juan, Pinky Killacorn and Garvey.

Chris also said:
“I wanted the first record to feel good, have great energy, and pay respect to three DMV OG’s who have been doing it for years.”
The song has been getting mix show spins on both DMV urban radio outlets, WPGC & WKYS, as well as spins on Sirius XM’s The Heat.
The video was shot and directed by AliDope from State of Fresh Films.

Styles added:
“I gave Ali my ideas and locations, and she put the plan into action” says Styles. The video consists of DC Skyline, Rooftop scenes, Salon Scenes, Gym Scenes, choreography, and a dance crew. “I wanted the video to look DC but with a fun vibe and energy.” -

"Dj Nicar: “Soul Purpose” A collection of classic soul-filled tracks"

Posted By: Rick JammPosted date: November 17, 2014
in: Reviews 1 Comment

“Soul Purpose” was made the old fashion way, using vinyl records and an old drum machine sampler.
Dj Nicar is a full time deejay and music producer residing in Washington, DC. His music credits include the MTV shows “My Super Sweet 16″, “Teen Cribs”, and MTV3’s “Pimpiando”. DJ Nicar has collaborated with numerous independent artists and performed around the country. In DC he’s played regularly at the Red Lounge on U Street, Avery’s, Kabin, Rosebar, and Gallaudet University. His mixing style is versatile, incorporating a range of music from Top40, Electronic Dance Music, dance hall and hip-hop to suit the atmosphere.

Dj Nicar’s 10-track instrumental album “Soul Purpose” was made the old fashion way, using vinyl records and an old drum machine sampler.

In fact Dj Nicar delivers a painstakingly created collection of classic soul-filled tracks all carefully programmed and skillfully engineered and produced to perfection. All of the tracks come with that special and timeless punch, which can only be achieved by layering original drum sounds over samples from vinyl.

In the early 1970′s, years before producers had begun chopping up old records on samplers; Bronx-based DJ Kool Herc introduced a new approach to mixing records, paving the way for the development of Hip-Hop beat-making. At the time, when playing extended disco mixes and heavy funk, Herc noticed that it was the instrumental versions, and often the percussion-only breaks in the middle of those records, which sent the crowds wild. He began extending these instrumental passages by hand, switching from one record to the next, chopping from break to break. Bedroom producers soon began looping drum breaks on cassettes, and eventually, the arrival of dedicated digital samplers and drum machines made the job easier, allowing far greater control and manipulation.

Dj Nicar has mastered that control and manipulation in his tracks, and it’s pretty clear on “Soul Purpose” that he is doing a great job, creating some warm and explosive soul music. Music that’s based around samples of vinyl records is big business these days, and getting started with this kind of production seems easy. In reality, though, fitting samples from vinyl records into a whole new production or matching sampled drums presents plenty of practical challenges, both while making the music and when creating a final mix.

Beat-slicing, pitch-shifting algorithms, hiss crackle & hum, plus stereo width all come easy to Dj Nicar as he turns on his sample magic across these tracks, from standouts “Make The World Disappear”, “Don’t Go”, “Piece of Me” and “Cali Sunshine” to “Shopping Mall”, “Hater Of Players” and Purple “Diamonds”.

These 70’s-era soul tracks were produced entirely by DJ Nicar, primarily using old vinyl and the Ensonique ASR-X – a sampler, synthesizer, sequencer and effects studio workstation. This definitely has a classic soul sound to it and even includes some vocal parts to give it an authentically warm feel.

If you’re looking for some instrumental soul productions, look no further Dj Nicar has you covered! - Rick Jamm



97.7 KWIN

90.1 KZSU

90.5 KSJS

Dj E Rock Bomb Bay Radio - Sirius XM

95.5 WPGC

102.5 KDON

DJ Chris Styles - The Heat XM

TV placements and Appearances:

Comcast - Planet Music Entertainment

KMVT Community Channel

MTV & MTV2 “Teen Cribs”

MTV Tr3s “Quieres Quinces (My Super Sweet 16)” & “Pimpiando”

Compilations, Mixtapes, Singles and Albums:

DJ Rueben R and DJ Rah2k - It's in the bay 2

DJ Destro - Slump in the box 2

DJ Destro - Slump in the box 3

DJ Destro - Slump in the box 4

DJ Dirtte Dave - Welcome to the Hood pt. hosted by Stress from the Federation (Universal Records) and Nump (30/30 Sick wid it)

DJ Rah2k - hosted by Goldie from the Federation (Universal Records)

DJ Rueben R - Slap Report

DJ Rueben R - Hood Certified

DJ Cali - We Got the Streetz 2 hosted by Mugzi from the mossie 30/30 sick wid it (Produced track #2 for Mugzi and Poppi Cas)

Metal Mouth DeeJays - Bay Bizzness 1

DJ Cali and DJ Fresh - Bay Bizzness 2

Thizz iz How We Eat - Thizz Entertainment (Mac Dre)

Assassin (Liferdef/Universal Records) - Who Put the G in Highfee

DJ Cali - We Got The Streetz 3 hosted by The Pillionares (Thizz Ent. Mac Dre)

DJ Mighty and Stik Gilatine - Caught You Slippen Mixtape

Stik Gilatine - Block Choppen Album

DJ Chocmami - Ridin’ Da Chocolate Wave vol. 1

T-Mazz - The Color Purple

Prinz-D - First Deaf Rapper vol. 2

Polar Bear - Icey Roads

Deaf and Loud Mixtape Hosted by Sean Forbes

P-Wild - Everything Project

Young Moe - Humble Hustle 3

Oochie - “Best Side” [SINGLE]

Foams from the Slutty Boyz - Checkmate Mixtape

Rico Relco and Jigsaw Jobe - Tired of Being Low Key Mixtape

Self Released Projects:

“Soul Purpose” Instrumental Album

“Summer Acoustic Sessions” with Matty J



Nicar is a DJ and music producer residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Throughout his 15 year career, Nicar has performed around the country and collaborated with numerous independent and major artists such as Fat Trel (MMG) & the Slutty BoyzJay IDK, Phil Ade, Mark Henry, Wawa, Sean ForbesDJ Chris Styles (WPGC 95.5 FM & 94.7 Fresh FM) and G-Biz of 106.1 KMEL.  

Music credits include the MTV shows “My Super Sweet 16″“Teen Cribs”, and MTV3’s“Pimpeando”.  Nicar has also produced music that has been played on 102.5 KDON, WPGC 95.5, 94.7 Fresh FM, XM radio and numerous college stations across the country.  

Nicar's mixing style is open format and versatile, incorporating a wide range of genres from Top40, Electronic Dance Music, trap, 80s, 90s, dance hall and hip-hop to suit the atmosphere.  Check out his new Radio Rebels Podcast on iTunes to get a taste of his performance.

Nicar also provides mobile DJ and entertainment services.  He specialize in weddings, corporate events, private parties, birthdays, themed parties and more.  DJ Nicar is also fluent in American Sign Language.

Venues Played:
University of California, Davis
University of California, Long Beach
Mississippi Coast Colosseum, MS
Kentucky Center for Performing Arts
Western Oregon University
Onondaga Community College
The Vinyl in Atlanta, GA
Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
Gallaudet University
Red Lounge on U street, DC
Kabin, DC
Rosebar, DC
Avery’s on H street, DC 
Chief Ike's, DC
Axum Lounge, DC
Capital Fringe, DC
The Agenda Lounge, CA

Six Flags America, MD
Cafe Asia, VA
Morais Vineyard, VA
Winery at Bullrun, VA
Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick

TV and Radio Credits:
MTV - “My Super Sweet 16″
MTV - “Teen Cribs”
MTV3 - “Pimpeando”
KDON 102.5 FM
KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM
KSCU Santa Clara University 103.3 FM
KSJS San Jose State 90.5 FM

Awards and Recognition:
DC Rap Beat Battle Champion 2014

"Apples and Oranges" Capital Fringe
"Doctor Faustus" Gallaudet Theater and Dance Company

Band Members