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Friday, October 02, 2009

The Legendary Mr. Magic: R.I.P. 

This has been a dark year for celebrity deaths but especially for hip hop DJs, first AM, then Grandmaster Roc Raida and now the legendary Mr. Magic.

If you don't know who Mr. Magic was, get familiar. Dude was the Kool Herc of commerical hip hop radio, the first hip hop DJ on commerical radio, a pioneer and a legend. He was like Dick Clark and Funkmaster Flex combined, the ultimate tastemaker that determined whether or not you'd become a hip hop superstar in NYC and by extension, beyond. By all accounts, he wasn't always the nicest or most diplomtic of people but his influence and legacy are pretty much unquestionable. Here's the announcement of his passing by DJ Premier from earlier this morning:

"I want to send out the utmost respect and condolences to the memory of John Rivas — aka Mr. Magic.

He passed away this morning of a heart attack.

True hip hop heads know that his history is so long due to him being the first rap mixshow to ever be on commercial radio on New York’s WBLS (107.5) with Marley Marl and Fly Ty in 1982-1984. Then went on to to WHBI in October 1984 and then back to WBLS in 1985 and WDAS in Philly. Simultaneously he paved the way for all radio stations that ever did mixshows and also sparked the career of Boogie Down Productions due to the ids he showed when they came to shop their demo to him and was turned away which then sparked “South Bronx” and “The Bridge Is Over”. He was known for his direct and sarcastic attitude on the air and every artist wanted his approval when it came to breaking new records. He even had songs dedicated to him by the legendary Whodini (”Mr. Magic’s Wand”) which was surprisingly produced by one of my favorite artists, Thomas Dolby.

Shouts out to Marley Marl & Fly Ty for the correct information on this. Rest in Peace Mr. Magic.

- DJ Premier

And here's a few tribute posts (with music) and info links:

Mr. Magic - wikipedia

Dan Charnas: The story of Mr. Magic - an excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Big Payback: The History of The Business of Hip-Hop to be published next year. []

Will C's Mr. Magic Archive

Jay-Z Pays Respects To Mr. Magic on WBLS.
[Rap Radar]

Jay Smooth's interview with Mr. Magic & Mister Cee. []

Mister Cee's "Mr. Magic Tribute" on Hot 97 earlier today. [mp3 download links: sendspace | yousendit via DJ Eclipse]

Mr. Magic Disco Showcase on WHBI show intro (1981) - from the era that pre-dates even the movie, Wildstyle! That's how long dude was in the game. [yousendit mp3 download link via Cocaine Blunts]

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