Saturday, October 3rd 2009, 4:00 AM
Rap legends from Biggie Smalls to Tupac Shakur lionized him in their verse. And now, like them, he’s gone.
DJ Mr. Magic, one of hip hop’s conduits to radio, died Friday of a heart attack.
Born John Rivas, he launched and hosted the first all-rap radio show in the U.S.
Titled “Rap Attack,” the show debuted in 1983 on WBLS and quickly became an inspiration point for key players in hip hop. The show, which lasted six years, also featured deejay Marley Marl and Tyron (Fly Ty) Williams.
At his peak, in the mid- to late ’80s, Magic had a rivalry with Kool DJ Red Alert, who had his own show on WRKS. They each had their own rap groups. Magic’s Juice Crew featured such key names as Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, Kool G. Rap and Masta Ace.
In 1992, Nas immortalized Mr. Magic in “Halftime” while Biggie name-checked him in a track called “Juicy.” Tupac also mentioned the record spinner on his 1995 cut “Old School.”
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