(From Kevin Nottingham)
I’ve been offline most of the day and just heard the terrible news. 2009 has been an awful year in regards to losing legends. According to DJ Premier, Mr. Magic died this morning from an apparent heart attack.
For those that don’t know, Mr. Magic was a hip hop pioneer. He launched the first ever rap radio aired on a major station in 1983 with DJ Marley Marl… The Rap Attack.
Mr. Magic was referenced in songs by many emcees. In 1982, Whodini paid respect to the DJ in their song “Magic’s Wand” saying “the moment he went on the air / it was plain to see a new phase was here” and “in no time at all a star was born”.
2Pac mentioned Mr. Magic on the track, “Old School”, from the 1995 release, Me Against The World. Nas mentions “I miss Mr. Magic” in his debut single “Halftime”, from 1992.
In 1994 Mr. Magic was referenced on Notorious B.I.G.’s track “Juicy” as being one of his early influences: “Every Saturday – Rap Attack – Mr. Magic Marley Marl.”
Blaq Poet referred to Mr. Magic on his 2006 release “Rewind-Deja Screw” on the opening DJ Premier produced “Bang This”, where he raps “I turn on my radio, I cover my ears, I cant have it, where the fuck is Red Alert? Where the fuck is Mr. Magic? I guess I gotta get with the times, my mindstate is 88′ but my style is ‘09.”
In 2002, he made a return as a DJ on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s fictitious radio station Wildstyle Pirate Radio, portraying himself. Whodini’s song mentioned above was also played on the radio, described by Mr. Magic as “a very special throwdown (…) this song is all about me and the Rap Attack”.
R.I.P. Mr. Magic… you will be missed.