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."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »