Learning how to DJ came naturally for Porscha Letcher.
Her DJing career began eleven years ago with her first gig under the name DJ 9Eleven at America’s Pub, which is now Throwback KC in Westport.
Since then, she’s DJ’d at a wide variety of events in Kansas City and all over the nation. It’s a career that keeps her booked at least three to four times each week.
When she first started her DJ career, she immediately recognized how males dominate the industry.
“Being a woman in a male dominated field, it was hard and we still go through the same stuff today,” Letcher said. “We don’t get the same love and respect that the guys get, the same opportunities and not even the same pay as male DJs.”
While it was challenging for Letcher starting out, she said there’s been a huge increase in women DJs in the past few years. In fact, for the first time this year, the Kansas City People’s Choice Awards created a category for female DJs, which Letcher won.
“I would say female DJs, we have a closer, tight-knit relationship than some of the male DJs here,” Letcher said. “A lot of us are very close with each other and we all try to support each other.”
Letcher’s DJ style focuses on hip-hop and rap music, which she said DJs can be restricted from playing in some areas of Kansas City.
“It’s been going on for quite some time,” she said. “I feel like those clubs only make those restrictions with Black DJs. It seems like some White DJs can play some of that music, but if we play it, we won’t get hired again.”
In 2019, a local Black DJ revealed a circulated list of music that DJs were prohibited from playing in a Westport bar. It included artists of color like the Migos, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and Drake. Prohibited songs included, “Going Bad” by Meek Mill, “Drip too Hard” by Lil Baby and “Ric Flair Drip” by Offset.
Those defending the “no play list” said playing predominately rap and hip-hop music has a higher probability of leading to violence.
A couple weekends ago, Letcher played in Westport for the first in a while. “They don’t book a lot of urban DJs there as much,” she said. “I don’t see a lot of women DJs down there either. They just don’t really book us.”
For the most part, Letcher said downtown, Power and Light and Westport bars and clubs don’t really book Black DJs. She books most of her gigs on Independence Avenue, 18th and Vine District, KC Daiquiri and BLVD Nights.
Wherever Letcher DJs, she strives to keep the mood elevated.
“Whatever event it is, I’m in control of that, so it’s a little bit of pressure but also a lot of excitement,” she said.
To book DJ 9Eleven for an event, email email@example.com or follow her on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Dj9eleven.
DJ 9Eleven’s Top Go-to Party Starting Songs
1. Drake ft Future – Way 2 Sexy
2. Cappella Grey – Gyalis
3. Hotboy Wes – Rolling Loud
4. Lil Baby – On Me
5. Dababy – Ball If I want To