Legendary DJ Mr. Magic Suffers Fatal Heart Attack
According to reports, legendary DJ Mr. Magic died of a heart attack this morning. Though few details are known about his death, his life was widely celebrated; he was one of hip hop’s most influential characters in the 1980’s.
The DJ, born John Rivas, was the first to helm an exclusive rap mix show on a major station. His show, “Rap Attack,” began airing on WBLS in NYC in 1983. Magic hosted the show, with Marley Marl as his DJ, ruling the airwaves for most of the 80’s. Magic went on to become a producer and performer in his own right, working with the Force MD’s on ‘Let Me Love You,’ and ‘Forgive Me Girl,’ and releasing a popular compilation series based on his show, ‘Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack.’
He was the inspiration for Marley Marl’s legendary crew, The Juice Crew, which featured newcomers Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and Roxanne Shanté, and was inspired by Magic’s alias, “Sir Juice.”
Magic’s career came full circle when, 20 years after he hosted rap’s first major radio show, he was picked to host old school rap station “Wildstyle” on the hugely successful video game ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.’
Magic was forever immortalized in Biggie Smalls‘ “Juicy,” when he spit, “Every Saturday, “Rap Attack”/Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.” He was also referenced by Nas, 2Pac and many others, including Whodini, who dedicated “Magic’s Wand” to him.
This morning, DJ Premier wrote a letter eulogizing Mr. Magic, stating “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 Brideg is Over.’
Mr. Magic was truly the voice of hip hop for an entire generation of fans, for whom the radio was the only place to hear the music. He will be missed.