Mr. Magic, R.I.P.: Remembering a hip-hop radio pioneer
Sad news today, yet again: John “Mr. Magic” Rivas has passed away, reportedly after a heart attack. It’s possible that his name doesn’t ring an immediate bell with you, but if you’re a fan of hip-hop in any capacity, take a minute to read up on his legacy.
Mr. Magic hosted what is generally recognized as the world’s first successful rap-only radio mix show beginning in 1982 on New York City’s WBLS-FM. Among other things, Mr. Magic’s show introduced the world to his co-host Marley Marl, who would soon be recognized as one of the genre’s most talented producers. In 1994, the Notorious B.I.G. memorably paid tribute to the show in the opening verse of his breakout single “Juicy”: “It was all a dream/I used to read Word Up magazine/Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine/Hanging pictures on my wall/Every Saturday, ‘Rap Attack,’ Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.“
Any Mr. Magic listeners out there? Share your memories of his show in the comments below.
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