“As long as we’re deejaying we’re never gonna let him die. We not only lost a family member, we lost a brother, we lost a mechanic to our wheel,” said Mista Sinista about his dear friend Grandmaster DJ Roc Raida. Such treasured sentiments and memories of the man born Anthony Williams were shared at a recent listening party for his tribute album, Roc for Raida at the Scratch DJ Academy in New York. Other members of the X-Men and X-Ecutioners like DJ Sean C, DJ Diamond (Diamond Jay), Mista Sinista, DJ Precision, Rob Swift, and Boogie Blind were on-hand to salute Radia and perform scratch routines. Their display of skill and showmanship hasn’t waned. At the event, Mista Sinista showed how he absorbed some of Raida’s techniques, which means, some of the behind-the-back feats of turntable acrobatics can still be seen, even in Raida’s absence. In celebration of Raida’s birthday this May 17th, DJ Rob Swift penned a letter stating the following:
“Although Raida only lived to be 37, he accomplished more in those 37 years than some people do in a lifetime. The odds were stacked against Raida from childhood. The odds say a young man who drops out of school will never make it out of the projects. But Raida not only left Harlem’s Foster Projects as an adult, he left New York and made a home for his wife and kids in Maryland. The odds say an aspiring DJ without turntables will never be able to perfect his skills. But Raida initially developed his style by going to other people’s homes and practicing on sets that didn’t belong to him. The odds say once you retire from battling you’ve given up your chance to win a world DJ title. But Raida came out of a 3 year retirement and won the 1995 World DMC Title. The odds say once you die, the world moves on without you. But through the support of many of YOU for my mixtape Roc For Raida, the memory of Anthony Williams aka Grandmaster Roc Raida continues to live on. The odds have always been stacked against Raida and even in death, he continues to defy those odds.”
Remember on Tuesday June 19th, DJ Rob Swift will be spinning at Irving Plaza for Queens Day. More details on the concert here.
Click here to buy the album on Bandcamp.