Tim Westwood: ‘Right now it's Migos season'

The veteran hip-hop DJ and presenter empties the contents of his psychic record bag and dishes out his biggest tunes, from Migos to Drake

The track I’ll be opening my next DJ set with
Migos ft Lil Uzi Vert: Bad And Boujee

Right now it’s Migos season. This is the biggest track at the moment, it’s the hottest one on the road. You hear it coming out of all the clubs, all the cars, all the parties. “Bad and boujee” is really a description of a female – “bad looking”, meaning hot, and “boujee”, meaning upmarket for the times they’re in. A lot of women are very proud to be bad and boujee.

The track I always play to rescue a dancefloor
DMX: Party Up

In that situation, an old-school track is a great leveller, because everyone can relate to it. If there are some old folks in there who aren’t feeling the new music; if there’s young people who’ve heard all the hits but you’re not quite where you need to be in the club – I always think and old-school joint or set will level it out again. I play a chunk of old-school but this is the one that always sets off. It’s high energy, raising it up on the dancefloor.

The track that currently gets the most rewinds
Migos: T-Shirt

In my scene we have something called “money pullups”, it’s very big in reggae. I’ll pull up certain records just for the energy or excitement but if there’s a crew in there going mad, and they just want a track pulled up, pulled up, pulled up, they’ll throw money at you - that’s money pullups. At New Year’s Eve I was doing a party in Hitchin and I must have got £700 in money pullups, with people just throwing fifties, twenties, tens, fives at the DJ box and I must have pulled this one record – by someone called Big French, he’s big over there, in that area – for about 45 minutes. What the normal practice should be is that, at the end of the night, you give that money out to all the girls in the party. That’s what I believe you should do. But that NYE, it was over £700. I actually just kept it.

The track that’s been unfairly slept on this year
F1 ft MLo & Hurricane: Designer

That record is major. I slept on it myself. I had my own party up in Birmingham and as we were setting up, the barmaid was singing the chorus. So I thought: “Let me throw that on tonight,” and the place goes mad. There’s a lot of records that break in what they call the uni scene. That uni scene can really set the tempo, at the forefront of new music. There’s a big record called Addison Lee [by Not3s] at the moment and the uni scene embraced that and out of that it’s on all the playlists of all the urban stations now.

The track I’d play to show off my eclectic tastes
JW & Blaze: Palance

In the clubs I work in, I play a lot of soca and Afrobeat alongside reggae and hip-hop. They’re real, emotional records. The energy level of soca is intense. Palance is an old record but it’s crazy.

The track that got me out of bed this morning
Meek Mill & Tory Lanez: Litty

Nowadays the big talk is “getting lit”, meaning getting turnt up, everything is shining. This track is all about getting lit, staying lit, you’re lit up, you’re litty. And that’s just about when you’ve got that energy, you’re just shining.

The track I wish I’d never played

I’ve never really been caught out – I stick to what I do, I don’t really step outside my lane. But the issue I have is if there’s one crew there and you play a record by their rival crew. That isn’t a cool situation at all. Some crews everyone seems to hate, so whenever you play their records people are really requesting you to take that record off. That would be the only DJ disaster. You know what I did do once, though? Oh my days, I put the wrong mix of 50 Cent’s In Da Club on the radio. I had a mix that had the music of Postman Pat in it. That was messed up.

The track that should have been a crossover hit
Giggs: Whippin Excursion

Giggs has been coming out with Drake every night, in front of 70,000 people. That track is as big as any Drake record. As big as One Dance or Work – Whippin Excursion has the energy they’ve got. It’s definitely a record built for an arena or stadium, it’s epic. Why that didn’t cross over to a massive hit, [I don’t know]. It’s missed its moment.

The track I’d play at my auntie’s wedding
Cameo: Candy

Every generation does the electric slide dance to it. It definitely rings off.

The best track by my favourite new artist
21 Savage & Mtreo Boomin: No Heart

That’s the truth right now.

The ideal festival track
DJ Khaled ft Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain & Snoop Dogg: All I Do Is Win

That’s just got a real heavy hand in the air moment in the beginning, with Khaled screaming. Then hands go up, there’s this pause and then it goes “up, down, up, down”. That would be ideal for a festival for me.

The track I’d play at sunset in Ibiza
Tory Lanez ft Jacquees: Slow Grind

Or in Croatia, at Fresh Island fest. I do this pool party there. It’s the maddest pool party. People from the UK, they just love pool parties because there’s so little opportunity to have them in this country. People are down the gym, working out all year, and this is their moment, man. That pool party is one of the highlights of the year for me. Slow Grind is a take on that Pretty Ricky track from back in the day and he rips it down.

The track I’d play at my funeral
Drake: Legend

“Oh my god, oh my god, if I die, I’m a legend”. When I shout myself out at a club I always say, “Hardest in the game, legends live forever, Tim Westwood TV” and I think in a way a career that has lasted over 30 years and still maintains that number one spot, from days of pirate radio, through the era of being on Capital FM when there was nothing else like that, being on Radio 1, and now on Capital Xtra on a Saturday night, we are winning. We are shutting down the city on a Saturday night. I get more listeners than Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra combined. I get more listeners than Capital FM – more than any of those stations put together. Tim Westwood TV is over quarter a billion views. It’s like 360 million video views, one of the biggest YouTube [channels]. Videos with over, you know, 30 million views on, do you know what I mean? We’ve done some legendary shit in our time and we’ll continue to do legendary shit.

Tim Westwood plays Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, N1, Saturday 11 February

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