The Jersey Club movement originated in the ’90s as a style of music heard in, unsurprisingly, New Jersey nightclubs. More specifically, it arose in Newark, affectionately known as the Brick City, where the club scene was most prevalent.
Some may be familiar with Baltimore (Bmore) club of the same stature, as both have roots in ’80s Chicago house music. Early stars in the scene such as Tameil and Tim Dolla made their start DJing on turntables and making cassette tapes with house records. Both names are historically recognized as members of the “Brick Bandits Crew,” a group of Newark natives coined as the creators of Jersey Club. With connections just a few hours down south in Baltimore, they started a massive surge of Jersey/Bmore club music, which coalesced around a breakbeat style, with the signature motif a triplet of kick drums at the end of every measure and tracks that typically reside in the 130-145 BPM range.
Originally influenced by and heavily featuring hip-hop and R&B looped samples, the genre is now being incorporated into the modern dance music scene. Its even been used in bass-heavy concoctions, such as Dillon Francis and Kill The Noise‘s “Dolphin On Wheels.”
Looking at the genre’s massive growth over the past few years, Dancing Astronaut has compiled a list of standouts to get your weekend in the club off to a hot start.
1. Trippy Turtle – FoFo
Trippy Turtle is not only a talented producer and DJ to follow, but an all-around fun musician. What started with a lone turtle has expanded into a SoundCloud platform for animal-based accounts that all use the Jersey Club framework to remix popular songs, with artists Drippy Dolphin, Chacha Chimp, and Pretty Panda on the FoFoFadi Records roster.
Trippy is known for adding a rapid, breakbeat spin to famous R&B/hip-hop tracks, which he uses as a base for recycled samples on each rework. On “FoFo,” it’s obvious that it’s a remix of “CoCo” by O.T. Genasis, yet by listening closely, a variety of classics can be depicted, such as the guitar sample from P. Diddy’s “I Need a Girl Part 2,” TLC’s “No Scrubs,” Big Sean’s opening line from Drake’s “All Me” and a subtle “What?” from the 2007 Mad Decent release “Shake it to The Ground” by DJ Blaqstarr.
2. Zedd ft Alessia Cara – Stay (DJ Taj Remix)
DJ Taj is a great go-to for those looking for Jersey Club remixes of current, Top 40/rap hits. Over the past year, he’s remixed everything from Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Life” to The Chainsmokers’ “Closer.” The Jersey-born producer began making music at the age of 10, going on to DJ alongside Funkmaster Flex for New York’s Hot 97 as well as other radio stations around the country.
3. Ty Dolla $ign – Paranoid (DJ Hoodboi & Falcons Remix)
Here’s a track that, though released in 2014, is still not an official remix. However, even more reason to appreciate it as a hidden gem that is only used in live sets and mixes. LA native Hoodboi gained popularity through official remixes for the likes of Chromeo, Alison Wonderland and more. He’s toured the world with A-Trak and has since been snatched up by the mastermind’s Fools Gold imprint.
4. UNIIQU3 & Saint – Yo (I’m Lit)
While DJ Sliink may be the “King,” it seems that Jersey Club has found its potential “Kween” in Cherise Gary, aka UNIIQU3. With roots in Newark, Gary began her music career as a vocalist in the club scene, eventually picking up DJing. Now, she’s taking the scene by storm with collaborations with A-list artists such as Baauer and Diplo. In addition, she’s playing festivals around the world, sharing the stage with Rae Sremmurd, Cashmere Cat, and more with featured mixes on BBC Radio 1 and a Boiler Room set.
Teaming up with producer Saint, this is probably UNIIQU3’s most notable track to date, using Jersey Club to describe the party culture in LA. The broken kick pattern starts at the 15-second mark, bringing in chopped up vocals for the drop.
5. D.R.A.M. – Cha Cha (DJ Sliink Remix)
OWSLA‘s self-proclaimed “Jersey Club King,” DJ Sliink was featured on Big Beat’s Pop Remixed compilation in 2016 with a remix of D.R.A.M’s “Cha Cha.” The original saw major positive traction, breaking the vocalist’s career. DJ Sliink adds a more upbeat spin on it, using the high-pitched synths of the original in tangent with echoing, looped vocals over the classic Jersey Club bassline. Another breakbeat section can be heard around the 30-second mark that almost sounds beat-boxed with heavily distorted kicks.
6. DJ Snake ft Bipolar Sunshine – The Middle (4B Remix)
Staten Island native producer 4B did an official remix of DJ Snake’s global hit “The Middle” earlier in 2017. 4B is unique in fusing elements of trap, hardstyle and Jersey Club together with modern electronic production techniques. This remix is an example of using “pitch-vocal motifs” on the drop, chopping up the original vocals and pitching them up or down to different octaves. Listeners can hear a standard breakbeat with the snare and snap combo on the build-up.
7. fun. – We Are Young (Kyle Edwards and DJ Smallz 732 Jersey Club edit)
Remember when Vine was a thing? The app practically coined the term “going viral,” causing a random remix like this one to explode up out of the blue. Although, maybe not, since the energy provided by Jersey Club itself is so enticing that it’s hard to miss.
Kyle Edwards and DJ Smallz 732 decided to put an up-tempo, breakbeat spin on the hit pop rock single “We Are Young,” by fun. released back in 2012. Edwards and Smallz 732 made this one in 2015 and are still putting a Jersey spin on popular hits. Check out the “Now I’m Mad” Vine that had the internet hysterically laughing for a minute.
8. DJ Envy – Text Ur Number ft DJ Sliink & Fetty Wap
“Text Ur Number” is an example of Jersey Club being integrated into mainstream sounds, as producers DJ Envy and DJ Sliink join forces with hip-hop/R&B/pop chart-topping artist Fetty Wap on the track, released in the summer of 2017. Envy, most notable for hosting the Breakfast Club radio show and being a Global DJ Awards nominee, hauls in DJ Sliink to get some Jersey feels in on this one.
There are some pop elements in this track that accompany Fetty Wap’s vocals, climaxing into a future bass, synth-driven drop that changes gears into double Jersey time after the first eight bars.
9. Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (JVH-C Remix)
Listeners will probably recognize this one right away, as it went viral for the most hilarious reasons. A rapid and aggressive remix of the Project X famed party track “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeahs, JVH-C’s rendition has been used for meme and compilation videos alike, posted all over Facebook and Instagram and features some of the craziest, most absurd dance moves/visual effects.
The triplet drum beats can blatantly be heard in this one, and — viral or not — it makes any dancefloor go nuts.
10. Cashmere Cat – Mirror Maru
Wrapping things up with a classic, literally the oldest track on the list. Norwegian-born, Grammy Award-winning DJ/producer Cashmere Cat released his debut EP Mirror Maru back in 2012, with the title track immediately making waves.
A feature on the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto V the following year helped bring “Mirror Maru” to the masses, where its stayed ever since. Although one of the more downtempo/lighter uses of the breakbeat technique, it gives the track a dance-y vibe it wouldn’t otherwise have, and Cashmere is able to include what would become known as his signature style in the years to come, including harp arpeggios and the famous bed squeak sample.