April 30, 2012
by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) — Airmen deployed to Southwest Asia aren’t allowed to go to dance clubs.
“So we brought the club to you.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff, the famous disc jockey who gained popularity in the ’90s alongside Will “Fresh Prince” Smith, visited the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing April 25 to entertain the troops with a mix of new and “old school” tunes.
This was the first time he’d played for a military audience.
“I first got the idea about two years ago, but we’d never been able to make it happen,” DJ Jazzy Jeff said. “At home when we go to bed, it’s calm and peaceful, but it’s calm and peaceful because people out here are keeping us safe. So this was just our way of saying ‘thanks for what you do.'”
DJ Jazzy Jeff and his emcee, Skillz, performed for a little over an hour for hundreds of military members. DJ Jazzy Jeff spun records while Skillz kept everyone excited listening to the tunes. After the show, they met with troops, took pictures and signed autographs.
“I didn’t know what to expect; at first everyone was just chill and sitting down,” said Skillz. “But once the show really got started, it was amazing what it turned in to. Everyone was up and cheering and dancing. It was a party.”
Staff Sgt. Bakiden Gordon said she couldn’t wait to tell her boyfriend about the show.
“He’s a DJ and DJ Jazzy Jeff is his hero,” the Dayton, Ohio native said. “Here I am deployed and I got to see DJ Jazzy Jeff in a show. He’s going to be so jealous.
“This was definitely much needed by a lot of people on base,” she added. “We all got to unwind a bit and dance.”
That temporary diversion was exactly what DJ Jazzy Jeff was hoping for.
“It was amazing to see the enjoyment on people’s faces,” he said. “My job is to entertain people, take them away from their troubles and make them feel good through music.
“There’s no way I can know what people here are going through while they’re defending our freedom,” he added, “so this was our way of showing our appreciation. Y’all are awesome.”