Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kenyatta Smith aka DJ Vader grew up literally digging through the crates of records in his parents' collection, which included a variety of genres like soul, jazz, funk, techno, pop, disco and of course, hip hop.

He started DJ'n in 1992 spinning at house parties and producing mixtapes for friends. His career gained momentum as he became a favorite in Cincinnati nightlife, corporate events, weddings and Greek events in the early 2000s. DJ Vader’s infectious tagline "It is pointless to resist" and song selection has made him an event favorite.

During his career spanning over 25 years, DJ Vader has hosted his own parties, along with hosting and providing the sounds for hundreds of private parties, corporate events, weddings and for some of Cincinnati's biggest weekends such as Blink, The Cincinnati Music Festival and Cincy Soul. He has worked with some of the world's most energetic artists and entertainers such as DJ Jazzy Jeff, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Dana Dane, DJ Kid Capri, Doug E. Fresh, Whodini, the late Biz Markie, Rick Ross, Too Short, Slick Rick, Naughty by Nature, DJ Spinderella, Dave Hollister, Cedric the Entertainer, Carl Thomas, The Dazz Band, and Tom Joyner to name a few.

DJ Vader is the winner of 2021 and 2022 DJ of the year in Cincinnati and two-time winner of "Cincinnati's Best DJ" competition. His podcast has held the #1 slot and top ten in its Hip Hop category for several years.

DJ Vader is also a radio personality for Urban One Radio where he hosted the "Happy Hour" from 3-7pm Monday - Friday and the "Lunch Time Mixx at Noon".  DJ Vader currently hosts the "Saturday Night BoomBox Side B" on Urban One Radio station RnB Cincy (WOSL 100.3FM) which draws thousands of listeners weekly. 

Outside of the DJ booth, DJ Vader is:  

  • An award winning second generation career Cincinnati firefighter & paramedic.
  • A community leader who is focused on giving back through mentorship and art programs. 
  • A legendary firehouse chef and published author of the cookbook  “Rescupies, dishes to save your night!”.

    Book DJ Vader to host and/or provide the soundtrack to your special event today! 

Catch DJ Vader live on twitch at 


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