DJ/Mixshow Pioneer Mr. Magic Dies Of Heart Attack

Music

Vibe / October 2, 2009

New York DJ Mr. Magic reportedly died of a heart attack early this morning (October 2), yet surrounding his death are currently unknown.

The news was revealed by radio personality Miss Info, via her blog MissInfo.tv, where the legendary DJ Premier shared a condolences in a letter.

“I want to send out the utmost respect and condolences to the memory of John Rivas-a.k.a. Mr. Magic. He passed away this morning of a heart attack,” Premier wrote. “He paved the way for all radio stations that ever did mixshows.'”

Mr. Magic was immortalized in the Notorious B.I.G.’s debut single, “Juicy,” when the Brooklyn rapper rhymed “Every Saturday ‘Rap Attack,’ Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.” Even before the shout out, however, Magic was a hip-hop pioneer–the first to host a mixshow hour on commercial radio. While it’s commonplace today, the feat was revolutionary in the early 1980s. The show was called “Rap Attack,” and was put together by Magic, Marley Marl and Tyrone “Fly Ty” Williams.

Magic is also known for his part in the now-legendary battle between the Juice Crew (Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G. and Kool G Rap) and KRS-One’s Boogie Down Productions.

BDP were the first to hear MC Shan’s infamous track, “The Bridge,” an ode thought to be proclaiming hip-hop’s start in Queens, while pushing their demo to Magic. After feeling snubbed by Magic, who was affiliated with the Juice Crew, BDP fired back with the classic tracks “The Bridge is Over” and “South Bronx.” The tracks were spun heavily by Magic rival Red Alert, fueling the memorable “Bridge Wars” that lasted throughout the ’80s.

Since the news broke, thousands of Twitter replies have been posted about Magic’s untimely death, including rappers such as Styles P and Talib Kweli.

At press time, Mr. Magic is unknown.