Mr. Magic

Mr. Magic

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.

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."[4] In April 2000, Mr. Magic began to take on a new role, with new faces; Kdabra, and Mah Gambino (aspiring rap artists). Mr. Magic first met Kdabra then was introduced to Mah Gambino, and soon discovered their lyrical capabilities. He then took them under his wing as their manager and offered them positions to become interns at Hot 97 FM on his then show "The Classic Showcase" with Fly Ty, and DJ Mr. Cee.

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.[5]


  1. ^ - accessed October 2009
  2. ^
  3. ^ rtsp://
  4. ^ Mr. Cee and Mr. Magic: Interview
  5. ^ Mr. Magic, Real Name John Rivas, Brought Hip-Hop to Masses Retrieved on October 2, 2009.

External links

  • Excerpt about Mr. Magic from "The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop," (New American Library/Penguin, 2010
  • Biography on Allmusic
  • biographyVice City on IGN