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Lady of the house
Marc S. Malkin

With her remix of the Madonna's "Music" out DJ Tracy Young is creating a different beat in a man-heavy business

Tracy Young will never forget her first days as a DJ. She was a student at the University of Maryland. "I played frat and sorority parties," the 29-year-old Washington, D.C., native remembers. "I got my $50, carried in my equipment, and played. And let me tell you, I was horrible."

Fast-forward nine years to New Year's Eve 1999. Young was spinning in the VIP lounge at Barroom in Miami's South Beach. In walked Madonna. Followed by Gwyneth Paltrow. And then came Donatella Versace. "There was a point when I was actually dancing with Madonna and Donatella at the same time," Young remembers. "It was wild."

A few weeks later Madonna flew Young to New York to spin at the premiere party for The Next Best Thing. As if that weren't enough, Young's now got the ultimate Madonna seal of approval--she was chosen by the music queen to do the dance remix of her new single, "Music." In fact, Young is the first female--and a lesbian, at that--Madonna has used to remix any of her songs.

This isn't the first time Madonna has made a huge impact on Young's life. "She has done so much for gay people and women," she says. "When I was young and things were hard for me and I'd be thinking, I'm not going to make it, I'd turn on Madonna. I'd think, If she can do it, I can do it. She kept me going."

Young began making a name for herself spinning at lesbian bars in D.C. "I'm not knocking it, but girls just don't get outrageous like boys," she says. "Most lesbians have a couple of drinks at the bar, hang out, and go home."

She also says it was hard to get the gay male night crawlers to trust her, but they eventually came calling, and she became one of the few females spinning for hard-core nights at gay male clubs. "People didn't believe I was a DJ," she says. "People would shut their doors in my face. But I just wasn't taking no for an answer.'

Just because she's playing for guys, however, doesn't mean Young spins or remixes like one. For example, she says, there's "a female perspective" to her Madonna remix. "A lot of guy DJs can be hard and deep, but my mix is more musical, with a piano and a string section," she adds.

Young moved to Miami about two years ago, working for Interscope Records during the day and spinning at night--Madonna pal Ingrid Casares had already been flying her from D.C. to South Beach to play in her clubs. Her Interscope job included going on the road with "fag"-slinging rapper Eminem. Not surprisingly, she was too scared to come out to him. "It's kind of sad," Young says. "Eminem is so brilliant, but he channels it in the wrong direction. When I was with him, I was petrified. I just think he hates anything he doesn't understand. We got into an argument, and I was petrified. I never wanted to be alone with him."

Young left Interscope about a year ago and had her first dance hits with remixes of Enrique Iglesias's "Bailamos" and "Rhythm Divine." Since then she's DJ'd at parties for Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Martin, Sean "Puffy" Combs, and Lauryn Hill.


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