Digital
Musical

STAR WARS “IMPERIAL MARCH” DJ BATTLE

ABOUT THE INFORMANT:

My informant is a senior graduating this semester from USC. He is a biomedical engineer, and is the oldest son of two immigrants from China.

EXAMPLE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw0v6kkasMk

DESCRIPTION:

“This is this weird video I found a while ago when I was searching through the bowels of the internet. I guess it’s this DJ {DJ Skratch Bastid} like scratching the Star Wars song on turntables. Not the like heroic one, the one that Darth Vader comes out to all the time. But it’s like during this head-to-head DJ battle, and he basically just plays this out of nowhere and shuts it down.

It’s just such a classic song, you know? It’s legendary. To pull that out so spontaneously, to mash it up that way, it’s really unique. Because, like, everyone knows that song and Star Wars and Darth Vader. It’s just a show stopper.”

ANALYSIS:

The setup here is that two DJ’s are battling back and forth, with each DJ allowed a certain amount of time to cut and scratch the records of his choosing. The idea is that from the music and sounds that someone else made, using the turntables, a person can make a new song or beat to it.

This is similar to mashup culture in general; in fact it is most likely the precursor to it, as this whole DJ culture of mixing and mashing records together has been popular for several decades.

The idea of mashups in general already create some grey area as to who the writer, owner, and author of the piece of music is, considering that it someone, the DJ, is using other previously authored, by the artist, pieces of music, which are owned by the record label, to create new music.

This version adds a new wrinkle to it, in that the new music created is in fact a cover of the “Imperial March” written by John Williams from the Star Wars films. This is therefore a mashup of previously recorded material. The folklore here has a few different dimensions to it.

The Star Wars films are unequivocally one of the most iconic film franchises of all time with its music being equally as recognizable. The song in question is the theme to the villain in the film, one of the most famous villains in all of cinema, and therefore carries a sort of clout and power with it. For someone to use the song in a head-to-head battle is almost like asserting your authority over them because of the context behind it.

Here, the song takes on a new power to it than it originally did when it was featured in the films because it contains all of the lore of the Star Wars films behind it.

Hear the original “Imperial March” in the Star Wars films.

Comments are closed.

[geolocation]