Old School Mondays:: R.I.P. Roc Raida & Derek B.

With the year coming to an end, one’s thoughts usually lean towards the celebratory aspects of the season, but it’s also a time to reflect on those we’ve lost during the year. Wow, sorry, that was a little heavy, but basically this week’s OSM is about two fellows that passed away recently that I’ve been meaning to mention: DJ Roc Raida & Derek B.

Grandmaster Roc Raida passed away in September, and while he might not be someone that the public at large or the casual hip hop fan was familiar with, he’s a legend amongst DJ’s, and was involved with plenty of classic hip hop records. But don’t take it from me, you’d be better off hearing it from another DJ:

Raida was an early influence on me and watching him on battle tapes move faster than anyone I had ever seen blew my mind.

That’s from Skratch Bastid, who has a great post on Roc Raida on his site, which I’d encourage you to check out to get a good idea of what he meant to hip hop and the DJ-ing community. Roc Raida was likely best known as a member of the DJ supergroup the X-ecutioners (formerly the X-Men), but he was a contributor to many albums, including some old school gems. Raida seems to have been affiliated with DITC, so a lot of his early work is doing cuts for guys like O.C., Fat Joe, and Showbiz & AG. His appearance on the immortal O.C. cut Time’s Up is likely enough to cement his creds, but he was also on Fat Joe’s debut album, which I enjoyed more than his Joe’s current persona would have one believe. Roc Raida also did some production, and one of his earliest works, Funky Piano by the E. Bros is an early 90′s favorite of the internet rap nerd set (and a great beat too!).

The other person we’re memorializing is Derek B, a UK hip hop pioneer who passed away last month. I’ve talked about Derek B before - a guy who many folks in North America likely have never heard of before, and who I only know because I stumbled across a song of his ages ago on some wacky Mr. Magic compilation. Derek DJ’d under the name Derek B, while also rapping as EZQ, so there was some early Shock G.-Humpty Hump action going on there and that makes him not only a pioneer as far as Brit-rap is concerned, but also in the realm of rapping alter-egos. Derek B is perhaps well-known by the masses in his home country for being involved with the Anfield Rap - an ode to Liverpool, but we won’t hold that against him (especially in light of Arsenal’s 2-1 over the stumbling Liverpudians). Anyway, I still love Get Down so I’ll post it again, along with bad Young Brother, another hit from Derek’s debut album Bullet From a Gun.

Enjoy the songs and R.I.P. Roc Raida and Derek B.


MP3:: O.C. - Time’s Up

MP3:: Fat Joe - Bad Bad Man

MP3:: E. Bros - Funky Piano

MP3:: Derek B. - Bad Young Brother

MP3:: Derek B. - Get Down

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 3:17 pm and is filed under Hip Hop, Old School Mondays, R.I.P.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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