||There are some people who are always one step ahead of the crowd, whose
fingers seem to be locked on the pulse. Cosmo Baker is one of those people.
As a DJ, he's been a key player in some of the most celebrated moments in
music and nightlife history of Philadelphia. Call it the Midas touch, but
trace something back to it's roots and you'll probably see Cosmo's name
on the flyer. From holding one of the original resident spots alongside
King Britt at the now-legendary Back to Basics party to spinning at house
parties alongside a then-unsigned band called The Roots, Cosmo seems to
have a knack for getting involved with the next big thing.
Cosmo took over the Philadelphia scene when he was still just a teenager,
playing at many of the city's top nightclubs before he was even legal
. Although he was young, he possessed the musical savoir-fare of the ages.
While growing up, Cosmo made himself at home with his family's record
collection, which included everything from folk and blues to jazz and
pop . However the style of music that had the biggest impact on him was
hip-hop. When he started DJing, he took his love of hip hop and combined
it with his knowledge of the other forms of music - developing a style
of mixing music of different genres seamlessly to create a "bigger
picture." This was the style that years down the road would influence
many of Philly's most acclaimed DJs. As a DJ, Cosmo's musical knowledge
crosses over to his approach to spinning. He sees each DJ set as a movement.
much like a piece of classical music, that takes the listener on a journey
from point A to point B. He was also able to incorporate the music training
he had as a child, which includes violin, guitar, bass, piano, drums and
music reading into the way that he would construct his sets.
Already established in Philly as one of the top DJs by the mid nineties,
Cosmo moved to New York to take a job working at Eightball Records. It
was here that he became a fixture on the scene and ended up spinning regularly
in the downtown circuit. Although he loved his time in New York, he eventually
returned back to Philly to finish college. Upon his return to Philly,
he started a party named The Remedy. This party became an instant success,
and further solidified Cosmo's reign at the top of the Philly DJ community.
After a near fatal car accident, The Remedy was kept afloat by Cosmo's
friend Rich Medina, and after Cosmo's return the two of them continued
to preside over what is now called by many, "The dopest continuous
weekly hip-hop jam in the United States" (Bobbito - 360hiphop.com,
The turn of the century saw many changes for Cosmo. He started traveling
to Las Vegas on a weekly basis to spin at Baby's Nightclub, inside The
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. He also started to devote more time to production
and recording. Since 1997, he released several records, such as The Militant
Mindstate, Munk Wit Da Funk, One Way and more. He also worked on his own
solo material, which was by definition hip-hop, but showed as much influence
of Neil Young as it did by EPMD. Included in his catalog of solo material
was his distinctive mixed CDs - mixes that stayed true to his vision of
a "movement in music," much like his DJ sets. During the first
several years of the 21st century, Cosmo continued to play on the road,
and at home he still presided over his parties like The Remedy, and Candyland,
which he DJed with his friend ?uestlove of The Roots. Eventually, he moved
back to Brooklyn where he teamed up with fellow music lovers DJ Ayres
and DJ Eleven for The Rub, which is now widely considered New York's best
And that's the thing with Cosmo. He always lets his passion for music
take him to new places, inspiring his DJ contemporaries and the people
that come out to listen to him. Whether he's spinning for an intimate
group of 50 or an audience of thousands, he always knows what song will
engage and, of course, move the crowd. Whatever it is that he's involved
with, judging by his track record, it could easily be the next big thing.