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DJ Greg Street: Inside the DJ Booth

Sandra Rose, Getty Images

The key to DJ Greg Street‘s success stems from more than spinning records, although music is what inspired him in the first place. The Mississippi native, born Gregory Polk, started off with a guitar — not turntables — at the age of 6. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he started deejaying in the most unconventional way.

“I started deejaying parties by connecting my guitar to my turntables,” Street tells The BoomBox. “I did neighborhood parties and teen parties.”

It wasn’t long before he latched onto the notion of making it a career, even though he was still in high school at the time. At age 16, Street logged impressive hours working after school at the local urban radio station in Hattiesburg, Miss. His exemplary work ethic followed him after graduation, even when he moved on to working at an adult contemporary rock station.

“I would mess with the rock music, and at night, I’d still be doing parties and stuff in the black clubs, white college frat parties and black college frat parties,” he recalls.

Street owes his success to more than just vinyl. It’s the result of self-motivation and the ability to live “outside the box.” As a college undergraduate, Street had his “first big break” while working at 93 BLX in Mobile, Ala.

“It was the biggest, most legendary radio station in the south. It’s like, a 100,000-watt station that you can hear from Destin, Fla., all the way to Slidell, La.,” he remembers. “A radio station on the water, the signal travels a lot further.”

After his spot at BLX, things really started to move quickly for Street. His radio resume is dizzying. Three years after joining the staff at BLX, he moved to Houston to work at Magic 102; a couple years later, he was in Mobile for a few months, then was off to Dallas. He worked in Dallas for three years, then moved to Atlanta. After seven years in Atlanta, Street moved back to Dallas to work full-time, altering his Atlanta workdays to Saturdays only.

“I worked both markets and flew back and forth from Dallas to Atlanta from 2002 to 2005,” he states matter-of-factly, as if residing in two different cities was a part of his plan from the start. “Then in 2005, I moved back to Atlanta to work full-time.”

Clearly, Street loves his livelihood, but when asked about his worst DJ experience it doesn’t take long for him to respond.

“When you’re in a club or an atmosphere where people only wanna hear the same five records over and over all night, they don’t really wanna have a party,” Street reveals. “We’re really getting away from the party in the music, now it’s more like, if you haven’t heard the song a million times, you don’t want to hear it. Being in a crowd of people who just wanna hear the same song over and over and over is the most boring, miserable thing that you can really be a part of.”

In addition to being on staff at some of the biggest stations in the South from Georgia to Texas, Street makes an effort to acknowledge his other interests. He works with shoe companies like Adidas and Nike and artists like Future and Travis Porter. Street also heads the nationwide Sneaker Friends event series, has a Harley-Davidson club membership and takes part in hs annual Car & Bike Show tour. The closest to his heart, though, is We Need 2 Read, a reading initiative he started for school-aged children. Each year, his scholarship foundation awards kids with toys and video games, and a total of $10,000 is divided between the eligible students and schools.

“The thing that a lot of DJs don’t understand is that, there’s more to it than just being a DJ,” he says. “There’s more to it than just saying, ‘You’re breaking new records. It’s really like you’re the person between the public and the celebrity.”

“You’re the link,” he adds. “So it’s more about your community involvement and being attached to things that not only you have a passion for, but what other people have a passion for.”

Top Five Songs of the Moment
1. ‘Rack City,’ Tyga
2. ‘The Motto,’ Drake
3. ‘Gotta Have It,’ Kanye West & Jay-Z
4. ‘Ayy Ladies,’ Travis Porter
5. ‘I Do,’ Young Jeezy feat. Andre 3000 & Jay-Z

Top Five Songs to Rock a Party
1. ‘One More Chance,’ Biggie
2. ‘Ambitionz Az a Ridah” Tupac
3. ‘Here I Go,’ Mystikal
4. ‘Black Ice,’ Goodie Mob feat. OutKast
5. ‘No More Play in G.A.,’ Pastor Troy

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