September 19 marked another recent, terrible loss for the DJ community , and hip-hop at large: Pioneering turntablist Roc Raida, born Anthony Williams, passed away after cardiac arrest. Williams had been hospitalized after an accident while practicing Krav Maga, which he had been studying for the past two years. He successfully undergone surgeries and physical therapy, according to a family statement, and as such, his death was unexpected.
In the music world, Raida and his crew, the X-Ecutioners, were known for helping to develop turntablism as we know it today. In 1995, he became the first DJ from New York City to win the world DMC championships, instantly earning a place in the DMC/Technics DJ Hall of Fame. His further artistic accomplishments are too numerous to mention here, but most recently, he had been touring as Busta Rhyme's official DJ. (In fact, many learned of Raida's passing through Busta's Twitter.)
The loss hit local DJ I-Dee especially hard -- he counted Raida as a huge inspiration, and is signed to his mentor's label, AdiarCor. As such, he's put together a benefit for Raida's family tonight at the weekly Champion Sound party at Electric Pickle.
Befitting the evening's honoree, the DJ line-up is pretty stellar: I-Dee, Immortal, K-Razor, Aliyo, K-N-S, Fuse, and others, along with Champion Sound residents Mr. Brown, Sire Esq. and A-Train. A special appearance also comes from Exotic E, part of Raida's original X-Men crew. MCs Wrekonize, Bernbiz, and Protoman will also be on hand to keep the night moving.
Roc Raida fundraiser. Wednesday, September 30. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. $5. Ages 21+ with ID. 305-356-5613