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DJ International Records

727 W Randolph St.

Rocky Jones and Benji Espinoza launched DJ International Records in 1985 and it became one of the world’s most recognized house music labels. The company grew out of Jones’ record pool, an informal organization allowing DJs to shop and acquire records directly from their producers. When producer Steve “Silk” Hurley played his “Music Is The Key” to Espinosa, he encouraged Jones to release the song and DJ International was born. The song became popular on dance floors worldwide and its line, “Jack that body baby” became one of the all-time biggest refrains in Chicago house music. Other international hits for the company included Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body” in 1986. Later in the decade, the label helped pioneer a new spin on house, hip-house, through such singles as Fast Eddie’s “Hip House” and “Yo Yo Get Funky.” After closing its doors in the early 1990s, DJ International was relaunched in 2021 with a relaunch of Joe Smooth and Anthony Thomas’ “Promised Land.”

– A.C. 

Caption: Former location of DJ International Records.

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