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Roc Raida began his DJ career in the early eighties at the age of ten. Surrounded by such inspirations as his father, a member of the Sugar Hill Records act Mean Machine and hip hop impresario Grandmaster Flash, Raida cultivated his interest into an absolute passion. Now, Roc Raida is considered among the best of the contemporary DJs and has brought the underground art of Turntablism to a fresh new level.
In the late eighties Raida gained prominence as a member of the New York-based crew the X-Men who, for obvious of copyright reasons, later became known as the X-ecutioners. Champions of furthering the turntablist movement, the X-ecutioners made their reputation by utilizing the techniques of beat-juggling; the manual alteration between individual kick and snare sounds to create original drum patterns in real time. This practice has been an inspiration and a force in Roc Raidas style.
In the beginning defeat was commonplace, as battles were mainly popularity contests. The more contests he entered the more the competition began to appreciate his style and determination. Pushing his limits and raising the standard with which DMCs are judged, Raida began to get noticed. His impressive finishes in some of the Premier DJ battles; first place in the 1991 “As One”; second place in the “Superman Battle”; and second place in the 1992 DMC US Finals were just the beginning. In 1995 Raida, was crowned the DMC World Champion in front of a massive London audience.
The past several years have seen Raida traveling around the globe promoting the art of Turntablism in such exotic locations as Singapore, Turkey, Japan and Australia. Last year on a panel at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Raida was appointed “Grandmaster”, by some of Hip-Hops founding fathers. Rules for this dubious honor state that one may only be bestowed with the approval of another Grandmaster, Raida was not only approved, but welcomed by Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and scratch evolutionist DST. To round out a phenomenal decade, Raida was inducted into the DMC Hall of Fame at the 1999 DMC World Finals in New York City.
Turntablism has come up through the rave culture and is now showcased at every Electronic Music happening with crews such as The X-Ecutioners, Invisbl Skratch Piklz, Allies and Beat Junkies headlining events nationwide. In the new Moonshine Mix Series Crossfaderz, Raida solidifies his “Grandmaster” status by creating a vibrant mix of underground hip-hop skillfully creating a fantasy mix-show with a tongue-in-cheek look into the hip hop world.
Roc Raida was recently featured on an episode of “Saturday Night Live”; the first DJ to ever share the stage with the fabled SNL band. Proving, once again, that Raida is the perfect example of a master perfecting his art.