Originally Posted by Fred Bissnette
maybe im missing something but is the bpm really important?
Well, that depends on the music you play. If you just play house, then no, it's not really important, because every things in the mid 120s. If you're a hip hop dj, then yes it is.
If your hip hop track are in the 70s bpm range, then you can't play a track in the 90s bpm track unless you scratch it in. On the rare occasions that I play hip hop all night, I'll start off in the 70s and end up in the low 100s at the end of the night. Being that hip hop songs are like 3 to 4 mins long and it's "cooler" to play only one or two mins of a song, you can really go through 30 songs in a hour.
Then, if you're an open format dj, playing everything, know the bpm will help you play this rock song with this break beat under it.
It's more of a point of reference, like organizing your crate/record bag in genres like "house, deep house, jazzy house, electro, progressive, etc." In the time of records, a lot of hip hop djs would organize their records by tempo, having the slower records in the front and the faster records in the back of the crate.