To answer the question... I DJ and Produce. And yes its kinda like a natural progression to make the transition. In my opion, a true DJ will never become a producer and stop being a DJ. I say that in dealing with the traditional sense of what a producer is. The industry has changed tremedously over the last decade+half and DJs, I think had a lot to do with it.
Traditionally, a producer is the person responsible for the creation/completion i.e. producing, of a Finished product. She is the one that makes sure time is not wasted in the studio, that all parties involved are on point and ready to put their best efforts forward. The producer is the driving force behind getting $#!+ done. Thats a producer in a traditional sense.
Now fastforward to today, the term producer is used a little bit loosely. Why? The DJ! A DJ is that one that listens tirelessly for hours on in and out on quality material and not-so-quality material. Its sorta like an autonomous induction into producership. What happens is after awhile, the DJ gets a sense of whats good and whats not. Again, the producer make sure the everything is on point. A DJ true to his roots is all about being on point. Like the MC, you cannot exhibit bull*ish. So now the DJ is initiated in this new realm of producership. I say new realm because, as mentioned earlier, the term producer is use very loosely as compared to tradition. An to not take away from people who consider themselves a producer-traditionale, I want to make that distinction. The term producer as its used today is a mixture of a DJ, Composer, and Producer. When I sit down and create a track, I'm drawing on the experience I'm gained over all these years. Most times its justs me. From start to finish, Its is all me in making the product. That, people, is producing, Solo Style. Now you can begin to see why this new realm is taking hold of the Industry.
Now to not be lopsided, I want you, the DJ/Producer, to consider this. You must have respect for the Producer-Traditionale, to have respect for that entity, you must walk in that entitie's shoes. Or at a minimum observe a "True Producer" at work. Get in the studios and learn as much as you can about whatever job you want to do. Talk to folk. The more you expose yourself the more material(grey-matter) you'll have to divuldge and process to strengthen your foundation in whatever it is you set out to do.
I think the biggest thing is just being true to self and true in your dealings. In the end, I think you'll find that everyone that contributes to a production is a producer in some form. The key to remember is that this industry is all about business. In business there is the concept of "Owenership". Everyone involved must "own-up" or be responsible for a particular task. In business, labels(titles), are used to differentiate who is responsible for what. Producer happens to be one of the many tiltles used in the music industry to denote what a person is responsible for.
And there you have it. I know many of yall were not expecting such a response but as you can see, I like to write as well. This is how I see things so if there are more seasoned folk out there that find faults in my expressions, by all means hit a brother up. Again, its all about exposing oneself and communication. And by the same token, don't just take my word on face value. Examine and validate for yourself. Its part of the learning process.
"...Let's travel at magnificent speeds around the Universe..." - Rakim 'Follow the Leader'