The music world is in mourning after it was announced by hip hop artist Busta Rhymes that his personal DJ, Roc Raida, is dead aged 37. Raida, an avid mixed martial arts devotee, had injured his back while training at a gym, and had received back surgery twice in the time since to correct the injury. He was recovering from the surgery when complications saw his health take a turn for the worst, and he died Saturday Sept. 19. at 2:05 p.m.
Born Anthony Williams, Raid won the 1995 DMC World DJ Championship, earning a spot in the DMC Hall of Fame four years later. The turntable spinner worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Ghostface Killah, Jungle Brothers, Busta Rhymes, Big L and Linkin Park.
He had released six solo albums and seven more with his group, the X-Ecutioners. Williams had trained in mixed martial arts for several years. He was recovering at an “inpatient physical therapy facility” at the time of his death, according to a statement from his family. “Family and friends will miss him dearly. Please give the family their privacy,” the statement continued.
Busta Rhymes said on his Twitter stream, “I never met a more humble man in the industry…So unbelievably talented and most importantly such beautiful spirit…I LOVE U MY BROTHER…” before talking about how “We r loosing all of these great people this year as a result of God calling his army because something is about 2 go down!!”
“To me, he was the best DJ on the planet–nobody can tell me different,” his friend Lord Finesse told StreetHop.com. “Until they do what Roc Raida has done, from body tricks to beat juggling to speed scratching. I mean, everything … he made that shit look easy.”
A post on Williams’ MySpace page had previously warned fans that “rumors and chatter are not accurate.” His family called the death “unexpected.” Williams is survived by his wife and three daughters.