Born in an era of hip hop but raised by the blues, Jacoby Williams is connecting generations through music as a blues / hip hop DJ at his father’s club, The Main Attraction.
“I love the versatility,” said the 32-year-old Williams, whose stage name is DJ C Beats. “Whether you go to a place where they like younger music or blues, they intertwine with both. They go to both beats.”
Williams grew up listening to a melting pot of music that inspired his love for all genres. While at Greenwood High School, he started downloading music on his computer, making CDs and sharpening his skills playing at house parties.
He went on to play football at Mississippi Delta Community College, developing a work ethic that translated well to his music career.
“It’s just like playing football,” he said. “If you miss a tackle, you’ll always feel like, ‘Man, I could’ve done better that game.’ It’s always going to be like ‘I could’ve done better today’ or ‘I could’ve DJed better at this party.’ I always push myself to get better.”
After MDCC, Williams turned down a Division I offer to continue playing football, instead returning home to provide for his family in Greenwood. Now, between performing at neighborhood events, setting up live sound for other artists and holding his weekly Soul Sunday gig at The Main Attraction, the family business is quite literally booming.
“I had an offer to the University of Texas, but I decided to stay home and take care of my kids,” said Williams, who also works as a security officer for the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District. “I think I made the right choice.
“Now we got a bigger club that’s three times what we started,” Williams added. “It’s been a great opportunity to grow as a club owner and as a DJ.”
His journey as a DJ has featured packed shows with blues singer T.K. Soul and rapper Benzino, who appeared on the popular reality TV series “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
His favorite part of live performance is his ability to use rhythms to move and, in a sense, communicate with the crowd. “Whatever you play, they’re moving to your beat,” he said. “When they’re feeling what you’re playing, it feels in that moment that y’all are interacting like a relationship. You’re feeling that emotion, and they’re feeling that emotion, too.”
Williams thinks it might be only a matter of time before some of Greenwood’s musical talent starts receiving broader recognition.
“We got a lot of talent here — up-and-coming rappers, blues singers, country music, too,” Williams said. “I believe there’s a lot of talent here, but Greenwood, and Mississippi, is just that discarded area.”
The family business looks to have a bright future in Williams’ son, 11-year-old Jacoby Jr., who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“He’s inspired me to start playing music,” the fifth grader beamed.
DJ C Beats will perform at the third annual A.B.E. Christmas Pop Up Shop event on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Main Attraction, located at 815 Main St.
•Contact Riley Overend at 581-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @OverendOut on Twitter.