Funeral services were held for popular DJ Vincent “Vicious V” Curtis at Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church on May 24. At the time of his passing, he was 53 years old.
A funeral was held for Vincent “Vicious V” Curtis on May 24. The popular local DJ was murdered on May 12. (Courtesy photo)
Curtis was shot and killed in the early hours of May 12. Brandon “B-Eazy” Harris, another DJ, was arrested in connection with the shooting the same day, after police said they came into possession of video evidence. Harris has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
Born in Baltimore; Curtis also grew up in the city, attending Belmont Elementary, William H. Lemmel Middle School, and Walbrook High School.
Curtis was known as a skilled turntablist and battler. He got his start spinning records at Cressida’s, 4604 and Godfrey’s Famous Ballroom. Later, after seeing Grandmaster Dee in a Whodini show at what was then the Baltimore Civic Center, Curtis decided he didn’t want to mix anymore and wanted to turntable.
While in the decades since there have been many digital advancements, what Curtis called “pushing buttons,” he did not adopt them. This left him probably as the only Baltimore DJ that still used vinyl for his turntables, Curtis said in an interview with Jimmy Jones, host of Crooked Streetz Radio.
Jones described Curtis as “more than a pioneer.”
In addition to incorporating body tricks into his act, such as being lifted and inverted without interrupting his backspinning; Curtis claimed he could recreate any DJ’s name with his vinyl during a battle.
Curtis competed through the Disco Mix Club (DMC). Competitors at the DMC level are known for their ability to perform without the assistance of headphones. Curtis mixed using vinyl records he had marked up tangibly, so he could effectively mix by feel.
“I’m not there yet; I’m not even gonna try and get there,” said Patrick “DJ Patrick Scientific” Ashley of WEAA’s The Morning Blend. “He did something DJs appreciate.”
Another thing DJs appreciate, was Curtis’ willingness and ability to provide high volume high quality sound equipment, PA services and engineering for DJs performing at large spacious venues as part of his business Vicious Sound Reinforcement, Ashley said.
“If there was a situation where a certain DJ didn’t come through, V would come through with a sound system and save the day,” Ashley said.
Curtis also advocated for other DJs on the monthly program “Get it Off Your Chest.” Programming covered music industry concerns about being a producer, singer, and musician “from a DJ’s perspective,” Ashley said, the program was “hard to manage, but Vicious V did well with it.”
A memorial for Curtis was held at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center on May 15. He is survived by his partner LaKesha, and three children, Alise, Xavier and Kristian.