R.I.P. Grandmaster Roc Raida

One of the greatest to ever touch the turntables,Grandmaster Roc Raida sadly passed away

My sheer condolences to Roc's family and many friends, this is a very tragic loss, please take some time to read about the great man and to click on the links and videos provided.



Turntablism Innovator & Deejay Icon Roc Raida Dies
September 19th, 2009 | Author: Jake Paine

Awaiting final confirmation, artists and associates including Da Beatminerz and Busta Rhymes have stated that turntablism pioneer and instructor Roc Raida has died this weekend. The New York-based deejay was most known for his years with the award-winning X-Men (b/k/a) The X-Ecutioners. This crew, whose legendary lineup included founder Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, Mista Sinista and Roc Raida (Steve Dee, DJ Boogie Blind and DJ Precision were also members at various times).

Last month, it was reported that the deejay was hospitalized as a result of a spinal injury. Although those reports have yet to be officially confirmed, the Hip Hop industry began a campaign wishing the innovator for a speedy recovery.

At 37 years old, Roc Raida won numerous ITF and DMC championships for his turntable skills. Although he is remembered for his jovial character away from the decks, Raida was an innovator in cut-throat deejay battles that often involved incorporating competitor's names into his mixes. Raida's also known for his agile spin-moves, and often making acrobatic cuts on the turntable, through legs, over the shoulder, and using his mouth to cut the fader.

Through his AdiarCor imprint, Roc Raida released over half a dozen CDs and DVDs, that were both mixtapes, documentaries and instructionals for aspiring deejays. His mixtapes, including Crossfaderz, and WHAT! 187 FM are also remembered for their comedic interludes, often making mock commercials for malt liquors, car services and Jamaican nightclubs.

On records, Raida was present for The X-Ecutioners' 2002 album Built From Scratch [click to read], released on Loud/Sony Records. Previously, the deejay crew was infamously recruited by Rick Rubin for his Def American imprint, but failed to reach an agreement.

With his scratching abilities, Roc Raida worked on dozens of classic albums. Highlights include O.C.'s Word...Life, Big Pun's Capital Punishment, Buckshot Lefonque's self-titled debut and Immortal Technique's two Revolutionary [click to read] volumes. As a producer, Roc Raida worked with numerous members of D.I.T.C. and Smif N' Wessun.

Last week, via Grandmaster Roc Raida's MySpace page, his family said this: "Anthony Williams p/k/a/ GM Roc Raida is in the hospital. His family thanks all of his fans for the well wishes and prayers. At this time please allow him and his family privacy to deal with the matter. The rumors and chatter is not accurate and we will release something more in detail at a later time. Thank you on behalf of the family and close friends."

UPDATE: HipHopDX has received a statement from Roc Raida's family, confirming the tragic loss. "Anthony Williams p/k to the world as The Legendary Grandmaster Roc Raida has passed away unexpectedly today September 19 2009. He is survived by his wife, three lovely daughters, mother and friends. 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."




Thank you to Spex1 for the following information...

The following information was supplied and approved by Roc Raida's wife Tyeasha.

Grand Master Roc Raida: May 17, 1972 - Sept. 19, 2009

Anthony "Grand Master Roc Raida" Williams was born in Harlem New York on May 17th, 1972 to Brenda Williams-Bolling & William “Tony” He was educated through the NYC Public School System.

He passed away on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 from a cardiac arrest resulting from injuries he suffered in an accident while training in Krav Maga, a type self defense system that he had been studying weekly for the last two years. He was proud that his 15-year-old daughter, Asia, shared his passion for Krav Maga and was the only girl in their class.

At an early age, Anthony joined the Mt Neboh Baptist Church & was baptized under the leadership of the Late Rev. William D. Gardner. It is at Mount Neboh where he served faithfully during his youth. He was a member of the Children's Choir, the Junior Choir, the Usher Board, and a former mascot for the Male Chorus of which his grandfather, the Late Deacon Early Williams was a member.

Anthony Williams was both African-American and Puerto Rican. He lived most of his life in Harlem but after marrying his soul mate, Tyeasha on June 26, 1997, they moved to the Bronx. Several years ago, they realized their dream of owning a home and relocated their family to Maryland. He encouraged and shared in his wife’s dream of one day opening up her own beauty salon.

He began DJing at the age of 12, spinning at local parties around Harlem. By 1995, Roc Raida represented the United States at the DMC World DJ Championships and won! He was the first DJ from New York City to hold this title and was automatically inducted into the DMC/Technics DJ Hall of Fame. Throughout his life, he lived his passion - being a professional Hip Hop DJ. He was blessed to have touring the world as his day job. Williams was honored to have worked with recording artists including Showbiz & AG, Lord Finesse, Kool G Rap and most recently, he toured exclusively with Busta Rhymes.

Although his family called him “Ant” (short for Anthony), he became known worldwide as legendary DJ Roc Raida. In 1999, Grand Master status was bestowed upon him by a group of pioneering Hip Hop DJs, during a conference at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.

Before he passed, he asked his 10 yr. old daughter, Nyra, who was the most interested, of his children, in DJing to take over for him as a DJ. She agreed!

With a very aggressive swagger on the turntables, those who knew Roc Raida were floored by his humbleness. His wife, Tyeasha reports, “His notoriety amazed him every day!” He never took that for granted. Williams was also known to be very quiet, private and easy going. His self-control was commendable unless he was pushed to his limit and then he would roar. In fact, Lord Finesse called his friend “the quiet lion” for this very reason. Those closest to him have the pleasure of remembering him also as a hilarious comedian, loving to joke and laugh.

Roc Raida through battles, performances, videos, dvds and even a Pepsi commercial, influenced thousands of DJs, both to party rock as well as to battle and he took several aspiring DJs under his wing to mentor personally. As a member of legendary turntablist crews, The X-Men and The X-ecutioners, he along with his brothers-in-vinyl took the world by storm, innovating, influencing and inspiring at every turn. In 2006, to progress and contribute to the Hip Hop DJ battle scene, he founded Roc Raida’s Gong DJ Battle, a national DJ battle that occurs annually, combining head to head turntablist dexterity with comedy and drama.

Not only was he a World Champion DJ, he was a dedicated father and husband.

Anthony leaves to cherish his memories; his loving wife: Tyeasha Williams; three beautiful daughters: Asia, Nyra & Tia; one son: Earl Tyric Smiley; mother: Brenda Williams-Bolling; his step-father: Clarence Bolling; mother-in-law: Clarice Powell; father-in-law: Deryl Hunt; sister: Tamneka Bolling; 2 brother-in-laws: Willie Neat & Keith Powell; 3 aunts: Arlene Tramble, Jacquline Knox of FL, & Jacquline (Donald) Tramble; 1 god-sister: Tina Carter; Adoptive Grandmother: Juanita Jackson and a host of cousins & dear friends.

Anthony is now reunited with his grandparents, Deacon Early & Helen Williams & his Aunt Minister Carol Knox.

The family would like to acknowledge these amazing "God-sends". They have truly been Tye's backbone throughout this ordeal. To: Henley "Pro" Halem, Sean C, Fat Man Scoop, Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier and Christie Z. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!

The family would like to expressly thank Chatman-Harris Funeral Home in Baltimore MD as well as Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem NY for their generosity and kindness.

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