Im very saddened to hear about this since this was one of my idols of the DJ/ Hip Hop/ Turntablist world. I watched this dudes videos, Studied his work like a kung fu student trying to learn from a shaolin master. And although I no longer want to be the illest battle dj, I did then, and I take the lessons i learned from seeing him throw down with me forever.
Roc Raida was one of the founding members of the X-MEN and later X-ECUTIONERS crew which consisted of great Djs such Rob Swift, Mr Sinista, Total Eclipse, Boogie Blind, Dr. Butcher, Johhny Cash, Steve D(the inventor of beat juggling), Sean C, C-4, and Exotic E.. He defined so many styles and clean cuts, furious style, originality, consitency, raw talent, and so many other words describe how he got down. This cat won many battles including the DMC back in 1995 I believe.
Last year, on a whim I decided to hit him up since I started to see some of my favorite DJs out here (NYC) for the first time in person. I hit him up about doing a banner for the 2008 Gong battle which was held at the Knitting Fcatory. He was real cool and very DTE (down to earth) in person. I did the banner, really because I was/still am working on a project of illustrations of various musicians and he was one of the folks I had been wanting to draw in person for a long time. Also, I just really respected him for creating the GONG battle, because although itwas a brutal battle it moved the culture of DJ battling and artistry in Hip Hop forward.
Much Love goes out to Hm and his family. And much love goes out to the Xmen, and The Executioners crew. Keep it going yawl.
" Life is a gift to be enjoyed every second, every minute, its temporary, not infinite"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlvuGGxRIpg GONG bATTLE 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkBaAfLOdw Roc w/ Busta Rhymes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4RlGkz_YS4 Roc, old school routine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxbzelWA6HY In Oakland (my hometown)