Seminal New York radio personality Mr. Magic reportedly passed away earlier this morning from a heart attack.
Magic, born John Rivas, was the first on air disc jockey to have a hip-hop show on a major radio station. “Rap Attack,” on WBLS-FM, debuted in 1983 and along with helping to introduce hip-hop music to the mainstream, it is credited as the birthplace of the Juice Crew. Group leader, Marley Marl was featured on Magic’s show as the DJ and Tyron “Fly Ty” Williams was the producer.
DJ Premier issued a statement about Magic and his legacy earlier today. “I want to send out the utmost respect and condolences to the memory of John Rivas aka Mr. Magic,” the producer wrote. “He paved the way for all radio stations that ever did mixshows.”
“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,” Preemo continued. “He even had songs dedicated to him by the legendary Whodini (“Magic’s Wand”)…Rest in Peace Mr. Magic.”
Outside of radio, Magic produced tracks the Force MD’s and put out several compilation albums. Later on in life he had a rap channel on popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. –Max G