Either way, you’ll definitely be listening to DJ Heat. As the official DJ for the Washington Mystics and Washington Wizards, the District native prides herself on sprinkling homegrown music into the mix during each team’s respective home games. “You know how it is in this city,” Heat says. “People here are always cheering for the other team. I’m like, ‘Let me remind people we’re here in D.C.’ ”
How’d she land this gig? Cool story: She got hired as a Mystics ballgirl in 1999 and slowly worked her way up to the turntables. And how did she start DJing in the first place? Really cool story: She grew up air-scratching to rap songs she heard on the radio, then got a job through former mayor Marion Barry’s Summer Youth Employment Program and eventually saved up enough cash to buy a starter-kit from the back pages of the Source magazine. “Just two Gemini turntables and a mixer,” Heat says. “It was the cheapest thing a 13-year-old could afford, but to me, it was everything.”
This is a busy time of year for Heat. She’s in the middle of the Wizards season, and she’ll be DJing the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game in Chicago on Valentine’s Day. On top of that, she continues to spin events and club nights in and out of town, all while promoting her recent single “City Girl,” a quick-pulsed cut featuring DMV rappers Styme and Reece P.
But whether she’s trying to cram a dance floor with party-people or rally an arena of basketball fans, Heat says she’s ultimately searching for one thing: “Any song that gets people involved.”
DJ sets: During Washington Wizards home games, including Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. (vs. Dallas), Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. (vs. Memphis) and Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. (vs. Chicago). Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. nba.com/wizards. Tickets start at $18.