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Meet the Brooklyn Nets' Courtside Mixmaster

DJ J. Period's original hip-hop remixes amp up Barclays Center crowds during games

Nets DJ J. Period during a game at the Barclays Center.
Alex Reside
February 1, 2013 1:55 PM ET

Last fall, Questlove went to check out one of the Brooklyn Nets' first games at the new Barclays Center. What impressed him most wasn't the home team's 98-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers: "Gotta say," the Roots drummer tweeted that afternoon, "@BrooklynNets has THE best music soundbites in their game."

Since the NBA season began in November, music supervisor J. Period – a mixtape DJ who's worked with Nas and Lauryn Hill – has been punctuating games with amped remixes of current rap hits. "Brooklyn is one of the meccas of hip-hop," he says. "The idea was that it should be a party."

100 Greatest Artists: Jay-Z

During games, Period sits on a platform with another DJ who actually triggers the tunes – custom remixes Period has made of 150 songs by everyone from the Notorious B.I.G. to James Brown, plus lots of Nets co-owner Jay-Z. When Nets star Joe Johnson races toward the basket, Period's remix of Kanye West's "Power" booms over the PA. Later, when the team returns to the court after a time-out, the DJ cues Jay-Z's "U Don't Know." "It's Brooklyn," says guard MarShon Brooks. "People get excited."

The crowd starts chanting "Brooooooook-lyn" after power forward Andray Blatche dunks – echoing the Nets' new theme song, John Forté's "Brooklyn: Something to Lean On." "For me, it had to be more than just a jingle," says Forté, a Brownsville native who rapped on the Fugees' 1996 smash The Score before serving seven years in prison on drug charges. "This had to be an anthem."

Tonight, the Nets beat the Hawks 94-89, but that's almost beside the point. "I've talked plenty of trash to Spike Lee," J. Period says of the Knicks superfan. "Even if we lose, our music is better."

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“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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