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Friday, October 02, 2009

Rap Attack's Mr. Magic dies

John Rivas, better known as New York disc jockey Mr. Magic died of a heart attack earlier Friday. He was an inspirational figure in hip-hop music as he co-founded WBLS-FM's "Rap Attack" show in 1983, which hit the airwaves officially in 1989. His six year span on the show helped give the music more validity as a genre. In its prime years it featured Marley Marl as the DJ and Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams as the show's co-producer. Mr. Magic also was part of a battle in the mid-80's against fellow radio disc jockey for another station named Kool DJ Red Alert. The Juice Crew headed by Marley Marl figured into this feud as well.

When it comes to hip-hop pioneers you're not likely to hear people immediately mention "Mr. Magic", but in fact he is one of the rap pioneers who brought the music genre to the mainstream. He's been name dropped by Notorious BIG as an early inspiration- "Every Saturday - Rap Attack - Mr. Magic Marley Marl" on the hit song Juicy. Other rappers to mention him include Whodini, Tupac Shakur and Nas on various songs.

He released a few albums including greatest hits from the Rap Attack show. Mr. Magic was also featured in the hit video game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" as one of the disc jockeys on a radio station. His radio show is also heard during a scene in the movie "Notorious" about BIG's life story. Various searches seem to turn up little information on Rivas' birthdate, so his age at death is not yet posted.

RIP to John "Mr. Magic" Rivas, an early influence in hip hop....

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