Local Current Blog

Local DJ Disco T says cancer ‘showed me who is in my corner’

Disco T djing a show
Disco T at the turntables, doing what he loves best. (photo courtesy Derrick Stevens)

Tredis Adams, better known as Twin Cities DJ Disco T, knew he wanted to be a DJ since he was in the sixth grade, when he saw Farley Keith DJing at Kenwood High School (now Kenwood Academy) in Chicago. “And I just stood around all night and watched him and how he controlled the crowd,” Disco said in a recent conversation with DJ Sam Soulprano and The Current’s own Derrick Stevens. “So, I was like, ‘Imma be a DJ’ and every day since then, that’s all I put my vision on. Nothing else mattered, school, none of that stuff.”

Disco’s first time DJing was at his eighth-grade graduation, and since then, his 38-year career has influenced DJs as a staple of the Twin Cities spinning scene.

On November 2, 2019, Disco was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His doctor told him he had about six months to live. After getting the news, said Disco, “I took my phone and calculated how many hours was in six months and how many minutes was in six months and that’s what I had to work on myself.”

When he got his diagnosis, Disco learned everything he could about cancer and its treatments, spending five hours a day researching before he made his own treatment decisions. After his deep dive, he decided to forgo chemotherapy in favor of a more holistic approach. “Even my doctors and the nurses that I come across,” said Disco, “they will tell you that I am unique in a certain way because I have studied health for 30 years. I’ve already been in the holistic field for 30 years. I was never a person who wanted to study upon crisis.”

Disco has always cared about being well-informed when it comes to his health. As a young teen, he watched his grandfather pass away from diabetes. His response was to read and research everything he could on the condition. “I started looking up diabetes and I found out that vegetarians and vegans don’t have diabetes,” Disco said. As a result, Disco has fluctuated between being a vegan and a vegetarian for the last 35 years.

When considering cancer, Disco said, “…cancer’s done me a huge favor. Where should I start at? You see how my face has brightened up because of that question? It showed me who was in my corner and who wasn’t. It showed me who had my back and who didn’t. Family- and friend-wise. And that’s what I really needed to see.

“Here’s an example of it doing me a favor,” Disco continued. “I have multiple children, and for the first time, I had all of them in the same room eating dinner. It was just us, for the first time. Come on, man.”

One such friend who came through for Disco has been Angela Jones, who organized a GoFundMe page for his treatment.

This Sunday, March 1, The Pisces Day Party – Tribute to the Legendary Disco T will be another opportunity to honor Disco’s legacy. Taking place at the Fine Line Music Café from noon to 5 p.m., the party will be hosted by Smoke-N-Delite, Chaz Millionaire and Soulprano, and will feature music by DJ Dan Speak, DJ Chuck Chizzle, DJ Big Reece, and DJ Stage One, with a special performance from J. Isaac.

“This city has been a godsend to me,” Disco said. “I grew up in this city. This has been a godsend to me. These people have treated me very well in this place. I wouldn’t trade it, living here for nothing in the world. I’ve been a lot of places. The people in this town are the best in the world. I wouldn’t have traded it for nothing… 100 percent.”