X-Ecutioner member, Anthony “DJ Roc Raida” Williams, has reportedly passed today (September 19).
GrandMaster Roc Raida
Roc Raida began his DJ career in the early eighties at the age of ten. Surrounded by such inspirations as his father, a member of the Sugar Hill Records act Mean Machine and hip hop impresario Grandmaster Flash, Raida cultivated his interest into an absolute passion. Now, Roc Raida is considered among the best of the contemporary DJ’s and has brought the art of Turntablism and Party rocking to a fresh new level.
In the late eighties Raida gained prominence as a member of the New York-based crew the X-Men who, for obvious of copyright reasons, later became known as the X-Ecutioners. Champions of furthering the turntablist movement, the X-Ecutioners made their reputation by utilizing the techniques of beat-juggling; the manual alteration between individual kick and snare sounds to create original drum patterns in real time. This practice has been an inspiration and a force in Roc Raida’s style.
In the beginning defeat was commonplace, as battles were mainly popularity contests. The more contests he entered the more the competition began to appreciate his style and determination. Pushing his limits and raising the standard with which DMC’s are judged, Raida began to get noticed. His impressive finishes in some of the premier DJ battles; first place in the 1991 “As One”; second place in the “Superman Battle”; and second place in the 1992 DMC US Finals were just the beginning. In 1995 Raida, was crowned the DMC World Champion in front of a massive London audience.
The past several years have seen Raida traveling around the globe in such exotic locations as Singapore, Turkey, Japan and Australia to China, Hawaii, Moscow, and the South of France. Two years ago on a panel at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Raida was appointed “Grandmaster”, by some of Hip-Hop’s founding fathers. Rules for this dubious honor state that one may only be bestowed with the approval of another Grandmaster; Raida was not only approved, but also welcomed by Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and scratch evolutionist DST. To round out a phenomenal decade, Raida was also inducted into the DMC Hall of Fame at the 1999 DMC World Finals in New York City.
Roc Raida has been featured on an episode of “Saturday Night Live”; the first DJ to ever share the stage with the fabled SNL band. Proving, once again, that Raida is the perfect example of a master perfecting his art.
Raida has taken his DJ style to souring heights and has also moved into production in the last 8 years. He has produced record for artists, such as, Big L, Smif ‘N’ Wessun, Fat Joe, Bad Boy recording artist Aasim, Ghostface, Black Thought of The Roots and Linkin Park to name a few. He has also lent his hand’s scratching on records for artist’s like O.C.’s classic “Time’s Up” to pop sensation Pink’s new album “I’m Not Dead.” Recently Raida was the star of the National Pepsi commercial entitled Speakerboxx. From Raida’s experience’s and touring attributes he has released 3 DVD’s documenting The Adventures of Roc Raida and now created The Gong Battle (New York & London), which has brought a new light on the turntabilism world of battles.
With many more projects to come in the near future and now a part of the Heavy Hitters crew you will be hearing and seeing a lot of Raida for many years to come through his music, his visuals, his style and the radio where he is the newest edition to Washington D.C.’s 1 radio station WPGC 95.5. Stay tuned because The Adventures of Roc Raida are always going and going and going…