DJ Element Announces His Retirement
|DJ Element in his natural element: Behind a turntable.|
"El's basically sick," says Valley hip-hop promoter Ty Carter, bestowing the ultimate compliment on the man he's come to rely on as a can't-miss opener for concert acts like Dilated Peoples and other hip-hop legends. "He represents the Babu and the Beat Junkie type guys. He just brings a lot of skills to the table. But man, is he a humble dude, you know?"
Howard was just as subdued and humble when we spoke to him via Facebook chat regarding his retirement. When asked for the reasons behind his quitting the DJ biz, Howard simply echoes his Facebook post.
"It's about that time," he states. "I've done a lot in 16 [years]."
While he declined to provide any more insight, Howard mentioned that he "just figured it was time for something new."
He also stated that this isn't a joke (despite a few of his friends and fans asking such in response to his Facebook post) and that he has no plans to DJ again anytime in the immediate future.
"Right now it's the last thing on my mind," Howard says.
When asked what the highlights of his career have been, Howard told Up on the Sun that playing in Japan in 2002 ("That was my first show overseas"), the tour with Jane's Addiction, and working as a DJ for the annual Rock The Bells Tour were his favorite moments.
In addition to his plans to sell off his ample record collection and various gear, we asked Howard if he had any designs on teaching or passing on his wealth of knowledge via the renowned DJ program at Scottsdale Community College or during the turntablism workshops at Cypher: The Center for Urban Arts.
"I thought of doing classes but no one was interested," Howard says.