News: DJ Premier Announces Mr. Magic's Death, "He Passed Away This Morning"

Friday, Oct 2, 2009 12:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

DJ Premier has announced the unexpected passing of radio personality and hip-hop pioneer John "Mr. Magic" Rivas who reportedly suffered from a fatal heart attack Friday (October 2) morning.


Released as an open letter to the media, Premier broke the tragic news.

"I WANT TO SEND OUT THE UTMOST RESPECT AND CONDOLENCES TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN RIVAS---aka MR. MAGIC," he wrote. "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'......REST IN PEACE MR. MAGIC.............DJ PREMIER" (Miss Info)

Rap pioneer Q-Tip shared his shocked reaction to learning of Magic's death via Twitter.

"R.I.P. to the man who put hiphop radio on the map.... the one the only... MR. MAGIC!!! TOO MUCH YALL :(," he wrote on Friday. "The originator!! mr. magic... all yall who dont know need to peep it.. http://tinyurl.com/ycy3jgc i really can't believe this year.... too much death in entertainment." (Q-Tip's Twitter)

Fellow radio personality DJ Enuff also shared his memory of Magic via Twitter.

"Mr.Magic Show was so Tuff! I remember hearing F4000 on that show and McShan's The Bridge. It was pure Magic. Peace my Brother!" (DJ Enuff's Twitter)

Magic was often referenced in various rap songs.

In 1982, Whodini paid respect to the DJ in their song "Magic's Wand" saying "the moment he went on the air / it was plain to see a new phase was here" and "in no time at all a star was born". Tupac Shakur revealed that his early days were musically influenced by Mr. Magic who would "cut up the hits" in the song "Thug Style" on CD 1 of the R U Still Down? (Remember Me) album. Shakur also mentions Mr. Magic on the track, "Old School", from the 1995 release, Me Against The World. Nas mentions "I miss Mr. Magic" in his debut single "Halftime", from 1992. In 1994 Mr. Magic was referenced on Notorious B.I.G.'s track "Juicy" as being one of his early influences: "Every Saturday - Rap Attack - Mr. Magic Marley Marl" (Wikipedia)

Check out Whodini's "Magic's Wand" homage track below:

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