Mister Cee, a famed hip-hop DJ and key figure behind Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, dies at 57 - Hindustan Times

Mister Cee, a famed hip-hop DJ and key figure behind Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, dies at 57

AP |
Apr 11, 2024 10:35 AM IST

Mister Cee, a famed hip-hop DJ and key figure behind Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, dies at 57

LOS ANGELES — Mister Cee, one of hip-hop’s pioneering DJs and a New York City radio personality who played an instrumental role in the Notorious B.I.G.‘s debut album, has died. He was 57.

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The famed disk jockey’s death was confirmed Wednesday by Skip Dillard, the brand manager at 94.7 The Block NYC, where Cee had a show. The cause of death has not been announced.

“We’ve lost one of the most important figures in the industry,” 94.7 The Block said in a social media post.

Mister Cee was a key player in the rap community. He was formerly Big Daddy Kane’s DJ and an executive producer on The Notorious B.I.G.’s groundbreaking 1994 debut, “Ready to Die.”

The New York native was also a radio personality on his hometown’s Hot 97. But he briefly quit his gig in 2013 after arrests in connection with soliciting prostitutes. Audio of one encounter surfaced online.

After that last incident, Mister Cee denied trying to solicit sex from a male, and said an undercover female police officer approached him. He also denied being homosexual.

But Mister Cee soon went back on air for an interview on Hot 97 with Ebro Darden and confessed in a tearful interview to having same-sex encounters with prostitutes. However, he also said he didn’t consider himself gay or bisexual.

During the interview, Mister Cee worried if his admission might hurt him: “Am I still going to be looked at the same way?”

But Mister Cee gained support from some within hip-hop - which was surprising at the time, given that the community had often been branded homophobic due to anti-gay lyrics by some of its biggest stars.

“Whatever Mister Cee does with his personal life, more power to him,” said Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, leader of The Roots in a 2013 interview. “He shouldn’t be ashamed of that. We got to grow up eventually.”

Mister Cee ultimately decided not to quit his job at Hot 97 and go to therapy after Darden persuaded him to stay put. At the time, he teamed up with the AIDS Health Foundation for a “new sexual revolution” campaign where he encouraged others to open up about their sexuality and use protection.

But Mister Cee's return to the station was short lived. He left in 2014.

Throughout the years, Mister Cee maintained his respect within the rap industry and kept working on other radio programs, spinning throwback tracks on his show on 94.7 The Block before his death.

“I’m so blessed to have known him,” Dillard said on social media.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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