A Salute To Mr. Magic

Today hip-hop has lost one it’s true pioneers – Sir Juice, aka Mr. Magic, passed away after suffering a heart attack. Not only was Magic the first rap DJ to have an exclusive rap show on commercial radio on WBLS (The Rap Attack with DJ Marley Marl and Fly Ty) but his often brutal honesty (aka breaking their vinyl live on air!) would inspire BDP to record ‘South Bronx’ and ‘The Bridge Is Over’ – thus sparking the legendary ‘Bridge Wars’ – while he was equally vocal about his disapproval of an early Public Enemy track, with his “No more music by the suckers!” declaration being sampled for the Fear of A Black Planet It Takes A Nation of Millions… album. Not to mention that the ‘Roxanne’ answer record craze was sparked-off by UTFO turning down an appearance on Magic’s show, only to appear on KISS-FM. With a career as a radio personality spanning twenty years, he later hosted a show on Hot 97 with Mister Cee from 1992 to 2002.

The Juice Crew, named in honor of the man, remain as rap’s greatest collection of MC’s ever assembled, while younger listeners might know him best as the host of ‘Wildstyle Pirate Radio’ in GTA3: Vice City. He also produced records for Force MD’s, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and Waterbed Kev and released a series of compilations in the late 80’s through Profile Records. Whodini and Thomas Dolby even recorded a dedication to him in 1984 called ‘Magic’s Wand’.

Always a man that stuck to his guns, when WBLS decided to switch to the ‘Quiet Storm’ format only a year after his show debuted in 1983, he chose to walk away:

“So, we were at WBLS for a while, then a gentleman came and told me they wanted me to stop playing hip-hop, because if I stopped playing it, it would phase out. They offered me the chance to be a regular air personality and do the Quiet Storm. But I said the best person to do the Quiet Storm would be Vaughn Harper, because he was one of the people I really looked up to, and he had that nice bedroom voice. So we left WBLS and went back to WHBI.”

Of course this saw WBLS take a huge plunge in the ratings, and before long they asked Magic to return. For the full story, check this great interview with Mr. Magic by the Fatlace crew.

Here are a couple of clips of ‘The Official Voice of Hip-Hop’ in his prime, courtesy of Will C, who put together the essential Down The Dial tribute CD with Magic last year.

Mr. Magic Disco Showcase – October 10, 1981

Magic disses Public Enemy (February 21st, 1987 “Rap Attack” excerpt)

Mr. Cee’s ‘Mr. Magic Tribute’ from Hot 97

Will C: I Miss Mr. Magic

Rest In Peace, Mr. Magic. On one of the realest to ever to do it.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrDigg thisShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

20 Comments so far
Leave a comment

‘No More Music for the Suckers’ sample was on ‘It Takes a Nation…’ Album..before “Cold Lampin’ With Flav” …great post

Comment by BLADERUNNER7L 10.02.09 @

Whodini predicted this shit.

Comment by MF 10.02.09 @


Comment by TYBO2020 10.02.09 @

Props for sharin this. Sad news that we are losing our heroes at such a fast rate.

Comment by osum 10.02.09 @

I can’t enough about the man.

It’s possible we wouldn’t have Hip Hop today were it not for this individual; and I am reminded of a time when you had to make sacrifices and do work to hear Hip Hop.

For the true heads… if you haven’t done so, check out this blog:


It has some of Magic’s shows as well as alot of other shows like Chuck Chillout, Red Alert, World Famous Supreme Team (my favorite). and others…


Comment by Ausar 10.02.09 @

True legend for the music and the culture as a whole. People don’t even know the sacrifices the dude made to maintain hip-hop’s integrity and presence.

I’d be lying if I said I experienced it firsthand, but it’s hard not to respect the dude if you know his story and what he did just so hip-hop could even be heard on the radio.



Comment by DANJ! 10.02.09 @

Radio was so raw back then . . .

Comment by haroon 10.02.09 @

This is sad news, but he played himself by dissing two of the best ever: KRS-One and Public Enemy.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 10.02.09 @

^^^what diff does that make when he was also part of one of the best crews ever- ever hear of the Juice Crew?

Comment by DANJ! 10.02.09 @

@HipHopHistorian: Magic didn’t play himself at all. The BDP song he dissed was “Success Is The Word”, which even KRS now admits wasn’t much of a record. He initially hated Chuck D’s style but changed his mind later on. Gotta respect his honesty…

Comment by Robbie 10.02.09 @

Wow.. Definitely the end of an era. You had to be there to understand. This cat is the reason why I am super critical when it comes to hip hop. Never boring, no matter who the artist was, his interviews were always dope. He played the “Raising Hell” tour on the fucking radio and RUN DMC were cursin’!! He did have a disclaimer before he played the audio, he said “parents, if you have small kids, send them to another room” I was a small kid enjoying the show. RIP Sir J. U. Ice…

Comment by Edub 10.02.09 @

Another legend gone, very sad, R.I.P. Super Rocking Mr Magic.

Comment by Jaz 10.02.09 @

HipHopHistorian – check it out homepiss, did you forget that it was all about battling and crew love or did history kill that? Keep your lady-boy comments downtown.

RIP Magic. One L and sincere condolences to your family.

Comment by AO 10.03.09 @

I just feel he was on the wrong side when it came to dissing those two groups. But hey, if it made them come harder, than so be it.

I wasn’t trying to diss a legend.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 10.03.09 @

R.I.P.Mr. Magic AKA Sir Juice!

Comment by Danny 10.03.09 @

HipHopHistorian…..how are you a historian by saying something so dumb and ignorant? Mr Magic is not one of the realest to do it. He IS the only one to do it. No one did what he did for hip-hop.

Comment by HipHopHistorian is a clown 10.05.09 @

Would Wu-Tang qualify as a “collection of MCs”? They are certainly better than the Juice Crew. In other words did Wu-Tang have careers as artists before their first Wu-Tang album? I don’t remember all that. All I remember is, Roxanne Shante’s only good for steady ****ing.

Comment by Dave 10.05.09 @

@Dave – Words from the Genius was on Cold Chillin’ my dude.

Anayway, another beer for a peer who passed on.

Comment by ben profane 10.06.09 @

@Dave… Comparing wu- to Juice crew is like comparing Lebron to Jordan. They are dope in their own right but these players would not be who they are today without those who laid the foundation. And honestly, I’m sure wu-tang wouldn’t compare themselves to the juice crew. Big Daddy Kane?? Kool G?? Masta Ace?? “C’mon, Son!”

Comment by Edub 10.08.09 @

Dave you are an dumb ass

Comment by killdave 10.10.09 @

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>