Is James Kennedy a Good DJ?

(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited Magazine)

There’s no denying that James Kennedy’s DJ career is really taking off. The Vanderpump Rules star has come a long way from his humble beginnings as SUR’s Tuesday night DJ during his See You Next Tuesday sets. These days James is opening for Kaskade, performing at Stagecoach, and selling out shows across the country. James has also collaborated with multiple other Vanderpump Rules stars on their own musical endeavors.

However, many VPR fans who haven’t witnessed him perform have their doubts about whether James Kennedy is a good DJ. There’s a lot of fame that comes with being a reality TV star. It’s not uncommon for mediocre cast members to find success in fields like music and acting based more on their popularity and recognizability rather than actual talent.

So the question remains, does James Kennedy have legit DJ chops? Or is he just riding the success of Vanderpump Rules?

VPR Fans Approve of James’ DJ Skills

James Kennedy/Instagram

Based on the feedback James gets and the way he sells out shows, he’s certainly found success as a DJ. There are several Reddit threads that feature scores of VPR fans gushing about the amazing times they’ve had at his shows.

“He’s so dynamic live!!!,” a fan enthused, assuring the original poster that James “puts on a GREAT show. You will have a blast!” Another commenter gave a similar account after seeing him in New York City. They called his performance “AMAZING,” though they noted he started the show on the late side. 

Other fans have reported that it can actually be a struggle to obtain tickets for James Kennedy’s shows due to his immense popularity. “His show sold out so incredibly quick in our city, I never even had a chance,” another fan claimed in a different thread. They weren’t alone, however. Another fan said James was also in high demand in their city as well. “Tickets sold out in literally a minute so they’re adding a second night,” the fan commented.

Commenters who haven’t had the chance to see James perform were pleased to hear that “his DJ career is legit.” There are many untalented reality TV stars who piggyback their careers on their popularity. Based on the opinions of James’ concert attendees, the VPR star actually knows what he’s doing.

James Incorporates VPR Into His Shows

James Kennedy/Instagram

However, just because James has what it takes to make it as a DJ without his reality TV career doesn’t mean he isn’t taking advantage of his Bravo stardom. Honestly, James would have to be an idiot not to tap into the Vanderpump Rules fandom, and it seems he’s done a good job of integrating the show into his sets.

Multiple fans have reported that James gives plenty of nods to the show that made him famous. One Redditor said that at the show they attended, James kicked off the night playing the VPR theme song—how fitting. James’ songs also featured voice clips from the Vanderpump Rules, and he shouted out several of his catchphrases throughout the show (including “PUMPTINIS!”).

Apparently, James also taps into the fame of his co-stars, and fans have spoken about both Scheana Shay and James’ girlfriend, Ally Lewber, joining him on stage. Another commenter said, “Ally came up on stage and danced for a bit.” Following the show, James and Ally also “took pics with people that asked.”

It’s a smart move for James to make these kinds of references to Vanderpump Rules. However, he still makes sure to not alienate potential DJ James Kennedy fans who might not watch the show. “If I didn’t know who this man was or wasn’t into VPR I still would’ve had a great time,” the original poster claimed. “He played great music and brought the energy like he was playing a massive festival set!”

It certainly sounds like James knows how to put on a good show for both VPR fans and music fans who aren’t into reality TV.

James Is Still Controversial (Despite Putting On a Good Show)


However, despite the heaps of praise James Kennedy receives for his shows, there are still many Vanderpump Rules fans who have taken a hard line against him.

“I still don’t comprehend why people financially support this human being,” a Redditor said in response to fans applauding James’ DJ skills. Others were quick to chime in, calling him a “misogynistic trash human” and chiding all the “abuse apologists” attending James’ shows.

Perhaps it’s James’ fat shaming, or his toxic and abusive behavior towards his ex girlfriends, or maybe his disgusting rage texts, or maybe…well, you get the picture. James has exhibited a LOT of awful behavior on Vanderpump Rules over the years. He turns especially nasty when he’s been drinking, and even when James apologizes for his actions, he often doesn’t seem sincere.

It’s not too surprising that many VPR fans are unreceptive to James’ efforts to find success as a DJ. There are clearly a lot of viewers who boycott his shows.

However, as some Redditors pointed out, the fans boycotting his shows are still watching THE show, as in, Vanderpump Rules. James (and other problematic VPR stars) make a lot of money by appearing on TV. By continuing to watch Vanderpump Rules, even fans who are vocal about their condemnation of James’ behavior are still technically supporting him. They may not be buying tickets for his shows, but Bravo dollars are still finding their way into James’ pockets as a result of fans’ continued viewership.

You may not like James Kennedy, but as for his DJ career, he’s no gimmick. By all accounts, the guy puts on a great show—as long as you can ignore his many misdeeds.