One of hip-hop’s pioneering DJs, Juice Crew founder Mr Magic, has died of a heart attack.
The news was confirmed by fellow New Yorker DJ Premier today. Magic debuted in 1983 on the city’s WBLS-FM with Rap Attack, the first rap-focused radio show to be air on a major station. It featured Marley Marl and was co-produced by Tyrone ‘Fly T’ Williams.
Magic went on to form seminal hip-hop collective The Juice Crew (Magic’s alias was ‘Sir Juice’) with Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane and more, and was a frequent reference point for New York hip-hop acts including Notorious B.I.G, who mentioned him in one of his most seminal lines: "every Saturday Rap Attack/Mr. Magic, Marley Marl", from ‘Juicy’.
"R.I.P. to the man who put hiphop radio on the map…. the one the only… MR. MAGIC!!! TOO MUCH YALL" – Q-Tip, via twitter
Said Premier, in his ‘letter’ about Magic’s death:
"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 LONGDUE 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 WHBI IN OCTOBER OF 1984 AND THENBACK 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 DISS 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 AND FLY TY FOR THE CORRECT INFORMATION ON THIS……
REST IN PEACE MR. MAGIC………….DJ PREMIER" [via missinfo]