Mr. Magic

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This article is about the rap and hip-hop pioneer and radio DJ. For other persons known as Mister Magic, Mr. Magic etc, see Mister Magic (disambiguation).
Mr. Magic
Birth name John Rivas
Born (1956-03-15)March 15, 1956
Bronx, New York, United States
Died October 2, 2009(2009-10-02) (aged 53)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop, Electro
Occupation(s) DJ
Years active 1979 – 2002
Labels Magic Records
Associated acts Marley Marl
Juice Crew

John "Mr. Magic" Rivas, (March 15, 1956 – October 2, 2009)[1] was a prominent hip hop radio DJ.


Mr. Magic debuted in 1981 on WHBI-FM in New York City with the first exclusive rap radio show to be aired on a major station. Billing itself as Rap Attack, Magic's show featured Marley Marl as the DJ and Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams as the show's co-producer. Magic moved to WBLS-FM in July 1982. Magic's reign on the New York City airwaves lasted six years and was instrumental in broadening the scope and validity of hip-hop music.[2] Mr. Magic recorded one 12" single as an artist "Magic's Message (There's A Better Way)",[3] produced by Spyder D for Posse Records in 1984. He is also interviewed in the 1986 cult documentary Big Fun In The Big Town. [4]

During the mid-80s there was a rivalry between Mr. Magic and Kool DJ Red Alert, who hosted a weekly show on WRKS-FM. The feud also played out between proxy rap groups, the Juice Crew and Boogie Down Productions (see The Bridge Wars). The Juice Crew - headed by Mr. Magic's on-air assistant, DJ Marley Marl - was named after one of Magic's aliases, "Sir Juice."[5]

In 2002 Magic lent his voice to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as himself, a DJ on one of the in-game radio stations.


As confirmed by DJ Premier, Mr. Magic died on the morning of October 2, 2009 from a heart attack.[6]


  1. ^ "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2009 July to December". Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Steve Kurutz. "Mr. Magic - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  3. ^ rtsp://
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Mr. Cee and Mr. Magic: Interview". Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Mr. Magic, Real Name John Rivas, Brought Hip-Hop to Masses Retrieved on October 2, 2009.

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