One of Hip Hop's earliest radio allies, pioneering deejay John "Mr. Magic" Rivas died, which has been confirmed by numerous sources in and around the Rap industry. In addition to being one of the culture's gatekeepers through his position at radio station at 105.9 WHBI FM, Mr. Magic is considered to be a co-founder of The Juice Crew, the legendary 1980s outfit of Marley Marl, MC Shan Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Roxanne Shante, Fly Ty Williams, Biz Markle, Craig G, TJ Swan, Masta Ace and Tragedy Khadafi.
The Mr. Magic Disco Showcase, his radio show since 1979, evolved to Mr. Magic's Rap Attack, a show on WBLS in 1983. This program was responsible for branding many of the Juice Crew members, and proved to be an instrumental platform in the feud between The Bronx and Queens, as scene by numerous records from Boogie Down Productions, MC Shan and Roxanne Shante.
Magic released numerous Rap compilations in the late 1980s and early '90s, profiling numerous rappers that he had cosigned throughout his deejaying tenure. The trio of Notorious B.I.G. ("Juicy"), Nas ("Halftime") and 2Pac ("Old School").
From 1985 through 1989, Mr. Magic released over five volumes of Mr. Magic's Rap Attack on Profile Records. These releases were compilations of popular Rap songs on independent labels. In recent years, Mr. Magic most notably hosted Wildstyle Pirate Radio on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
HipHopDX extends our sympathy to Mr. Magic's family, friends and millions influenced by his gifts to Hip Hop.
UPDATE: DJ Eclipse provided HipHopDX with these reflections, courtesy of DJ Premier.
"I WANT TO SEND OUT THE UTMOST RESPECT AND CONDOLENCES TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN RIVAS----aka MR. MAGIC
HE PASSED AWAY THIS MORNING OF A HEART ATTACK.....
TRUE HIP HOP HEADS KNOW THAT HIS HISTORY IS SO LONG
DUE TO HIM BEING THE FIRST RAP MIXSHOW TO EVER BE ON COMMERCIAL RADIO ON NEW YORK'S WBLS--(107.5) WITH MARLEY MARL AND FLY TY IN 1982-1984.......THEN WENT ON TO WHBI IN OCTOBER OF 1984 AND THEN
BACK TO WBLS in 1985 and WDAS in Philly SIMULTANEOUSLY
HE PAVED THE WAY FOR ALL RADIO STATIONS THAT EVER DID MIXSHOWS AND ALSO SPARKED THE CAREER OF BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS DUE TO THE DISS HE SHOWED WHEN THEY CAME TO SHOP THEIR DEMO TO HIM AND WAS TURNED AWAY WHICH THEN SPARKED "SOUTH BRONX" AND "THE BRIDGE IS OVER".......
HE WAS KNOWN FOR HIS DIRECT AND SARCASTIC ATTITUDE ON THE AIR AND EVERY ARTIST WANTED HIS APPROVAL WHEN IT CAME TO BREAKING NEW RECORDS........HE EVEN HAD SONGS DEDICATED TO HIM BY THE LEGENDARY WHODINI--("MR. MAGIC'S WAND") WHICH WAS SURPRISINGLY PRODUCED BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS THOMAS DOLBY.......
SHOUTS OUT TO MARLEY MARL AND FLY TY FOR THE CORRECT INFORMATION ON THIS......
REST IN PEACE MR. MAGIC.............DJ PREMIER"
HipHopDX will keep you updated.