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One of the earliest MCs on the scene, DJ Hollywood originated the practice of delivering extensive rhymes over recorded music, the essence of hip-hop. Yet because of his location (Manhattan), the types of records that he spun (disco), and the crowd he played to (downtown hustler types), DJ Hollywood remains an underrated figure in the development of hip-hop (a term that he originally coined).
Forming his own singing group at the age of 14, by 1971 Hollywood had moved on to DJing in Harlem clubs such as the Charles Gallery. As the disco movement began growing momentum, DJ Hollywood implemented record mixing, a technique he learned from a club owner, to isolate the funkiest or most danceable parts of the records. This gained him a wide following and, by the mid-'70s, Hollywood's performances at the Apollo Theatre influenced many younger artists such as Kurtis Blow and the Fatback Band. Reigning as one of the top DJs until the mid-'80s, DJ Hollywood faded out of the rap world for a time while fighting drug addiction. He returned in the early '90s to work with Lovebug Starski, performing shows in the New York and New Jersey areas.
10 December 1954