Grand Master Roc Raida—turntablist, producer, and one of the founding members of the almighty DJ crew The X-Ecutioners, passed away this weekend at the age of 37. (2009—officially the worst year ever?) Hailing from NYC, Raida came into the DJ battle scene in the early '80s, and along with fellow X-Men Rob Swift, Mister Sinister, and Total Eclipse, he did much to elevate the art of turntablism to a brand new level.
Roc Raida's 20-plus years in the game also included production duties for such artists as Big L, Smif N' Wessun, Fat Joe, Ghostface, Black Thought, and Linkin Park. As the hip-hop community mourns his tragic death, Complex pays tribute to the master with highlights from his career behind the decks...
1995 DMC World Championship
Winning the DMC Worlds is the ultimate goal of any serious turntablist. Roc Raida won in 1995 with a routine that incorporated some of the craziest body tricks ever seen in the history of the competition. Jump to 5:27 for the infamous "Roc Raida Bodyroll."
X-Ecutioners 1999 DMC Showcase
As much as Roc Raida will be remembered for his individual talent and accomplishments, he will live on in people's memories as a member of The X-Ecutioners. We can't even figure out what he is doing on this one...
"It's Going Down," X-Ecutioners feat. Mike Shinoda and Mr. Hahn
The single off the X-Ecutioners' 2002 album Built From Scratch helped Roc Raida and his crew crossover into the mainstream.
Pepsi Speakerboxx 2006 Commercial
Pepsi features Roc Raida alongside Rahzel for a national spot. So much cooler than polar bears...
Roc Raida's The Gong DJ Battle
You think the crowd at the Apollo is tough? Try getting gonged off the stage. Thanks to Roc Raida, we can now keep wack DJs in check.
Roc Raida as Busta's DJ
As Busta Rhymes' tour DJ for the past couple of years, Roc Raida brought even more energy to the Flipmode Squad frontman's robust live sets. On the day of his death, Busta tweeted: "So unbelievably talented and most importantly such beautiful spirit. I love you my brother. I will never let your name die DJ Roc Raida! We love you, we miss you and we'll never stop reppin' you!" R.I.P., Roc Raida.