DJ Mr. Magic, one of hip hop’s biggest springboards to commercial radio, died Friday of a heart attack. Born John Rivas, he launched and hosted the first all-rap radio show in the U.S., “Rap Attack.” The show debuted in 1983 on WBLS-FM NY and quickly became a conduit for key players in hip hop. The show, which lasted six years, also featured deejay Marley Marl and Tyron (Fly Ty) Williams, reported The NY Daily News.
At his peak, in the mid- to late ’80s, Magic had a rivalry with Kool DJ Red Alert, who had his own show on crosstown WRKS. They each had their own rap groups. Magic’s featured names like Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, Kool G. Rap and Masta Ace.