Growing up in New Jersey during the 1980’s was an extremely exciting time. 15 minutes outside New York City, and some of the best radio to hit the airwaves. I had a Panasonic RS-466S radio that sat on my dresser and remember going down the dial...hiss...static...crackle...then magically a breathy female voice appeared, announcing that she’s having a RAP ATTACK!
A few years after, the Chief Rocker; Frankie Crocker came calling, and offered Magic a prime slot on WBLS. By 1982, Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack had created another historical hip-hop moment; the very first rap show on a commercial radio station.
Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack with Marley Marl and Tyrone “Fly Ty” Williams, as DJ and co-producer, helped bring Hip-Hop music to the masses. He was a hero to many as well as a huge inspiration. In 1992, a young MC named Nasty Nas immortalized the DJ on his debut single; “Halftime” with the line; “I miss Mr. Magic...” Another New York MC paid homage by saying “...Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl...”. That line was featured in The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 “Juicy”. These were great recognitions but the best praise came first, in 1982. The label was Jive, the group was Whodini and their first single (also Jive’s first rap release); was called “Magic’s Wand”. The radio superman even managed to record his own single for Posse Records in 1984 called “Magic’s Message (There’s A Better Way), which was produced by Spyder D.
Mr. Magic passed away on October 2, 2009 but a few years earlier he linked up with Will C. (who I recently covered here) and basically made him the sole archivist of his tapes. He handed over all the original cassettes and told the 21 year old wiz producer to do what’s right with them. One of the best mix cds ever, came out of their friendship. Will has also made numerous posts about Magic with original audio from days gone by. Be sure to check willcmusic.com.
Happy Birthday Mr. Magic, thank you for blessing the airwaves!