DJ Roc Raida Passes Away At 37

By Nic Brown This summer has been none too kind to musical pioneers.  And on Saturday, September 19th, only a short few days before autumn took hold, Anthony Williams b.k.a. DJ Roc Raida of DJ collective the X-Men, passed away at 37. To turntablists both aspiring and established, Grandmaster Roc Raida was an elite figure,

By Nic Brown

This summer has been none too kind to musical pioneers.  And on Saturday, September 19th, only a short few days before autumn took hold, Anthony Williams b.k.a. DJ Roc Raida of DJ collective the X-Men, passed away at 37.
To turntablists both aspiring and established, Grandmaster Roc Raida was an elite figure, and arguably a legend.  Although he was well known for his wizardry on the tables as well as his on-record output, (Crossfaderz Mixtape Series, scratches on Hip Hop anthems such as O.C.’s “Time’s Up”, etc.), his main tenure with New York DJ collective The X-Ecutioners gained much of his notoriety. Previously, Raida found no problem taking the 1995 DMC World DJ Competition by storm and winning the championship. (He also made a notable performance at next year’s competition, often cited as premiere footage of his work.)  Raida frequently toured outside his native collectives, backing up some of Hip Hop’s biggest names, including Eminem on various incarnations of Anger Management Tour, Busta Rhymes in early 2009, and behind a list of who’s-whos during last summer’s Rock the Bells Festival.
Countless Hip Hop luminaries vocalized their mourning and appreciation via Twitter and other online venues. “RIP to another legend,” wrote Phonte of North Carolina’s Little Brother.  Fellow veteran DJ Scratch of EPMD wrote, “GOD HAS A WORLD CHAMPION WITH HIM NOW. LET’S PRAY FOR AND LOOK OUT FOR HIS FAMILY. RIP ROC RAIDA.”  While drummer/producer/DJ ?uestlove of Philadelphia collective The Roots wrote, “Educate yourselves on the art of true Hip Hop and one of the dopest cats to rep[resent] the culture. RIP Roc Raida.
Raida’s family released a statement, clearing up nearly all questions concerning his death. “…Raida was recently in an mixed martial arts accident, something that he has been practicing for several years. Although he had under gone two surgeries with great success,  was released to an inpatient physical therapy facility and was in great spirits the past few days. This morning he started to have complications and passed. The family asks for privacy at this time.”

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