For New Yorkers, Hot 97 is the rap radio giant that defines the sound of the city. Since 1993, the station has been celebrated as a stalwart of East Coast hip-hop culture, widely known as the place “where hip-hop lives.” Though non-New Yorkers may be more familiar with personalities like Ebro, Laura Stylez, or Pete Rosenberg, DJ Camilo has been holding down the fort for Latinos on the station for years, pioneering in the mainstream market by playing reggaeton, dembow, and other urbano genres in a hip-hop-centered radio format.
In the 90s, the Queens-bred Colombian’s profile grew with a series of mixtapes that landed him on the club circuit and secured him a spot in DJ Enuff’s legendary Heavy Hitters crew. We followed Camilo on a typical night, which took him from his Long Island City restaurant Blend to clubs in Jersey, the Heights, and Queens, where reggaeton bad boy Arcángel was set to perform. Here’s a day in the life of the DJ known as The International Club King.