West coast Hip Hop legend Rodger Clayton, co-founder of Uncle Jamm’s Army, passed away on October 10.
According to dubcnn.com, Clayton (aka Mr. Prinze), died of a heart attack.
Uncle Jamm’s Army was an influential collective of Los Angeles promoters, deejays, producers and emcees which hosted parties at such venues as the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Uncle Jamm’s Army specialized in electro-hop, which was highly influenced by Hip Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa. In 1978, Calyton and Gid Martin formed Unique Dream entertainment. The group transformed into Uncle Jamm’s Army, which was active from 1984 to 1988, featuring such members as Ice-T, Chris “The Glove” Taylor, DJ Pooh, DJ Battlecat, and many more.
The collective brought New York rap acts like Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC and Whodini to their parties, which were attended by the thousands. Via their own Freak Beat record label, Uncle Jamm’s Army released their 1984 single, “Dial-A-Freak.” The song’s production was handled mainly by Clayton, with Egyptian Lover handling the emceeing duties.
General Jeff, who was once a member of the collective, credited Clayton with being “responsible for various radio station mix shows which featured rap music on KGFJ, KACE, KJLH and of course paved the way for now legendary KDAY,” adding that Clayton was also the first to make the transition from record promoter to recording artist and producer, and “never got the true recognition he deserved.”
HipHopDX offers our condolences to the friends and family of Rodger Clayton.