X-Ecutioners member and legendary turntablist Grand Master Roc Raida died this morning representatives of the DJ confirmed with AllHipHop.com.
“The legendary Grand Master Roc Raida has passed away this morning,” a representative for the DJ told AllHipHop.com. “Family and friends will miss him dearly. Please give the family their privacy.”
The source refused to give details of his illness or injury, or even the cause of Roc Raida’s death, but did state that previous reports of an injury during karate class or a car accident were inaccurate.
The rep confirmed that Roc Raida was hospitalized last week, but would only state that the DJ’s death was totally “unexpected.”
Grand Master Roc Raida started DJ’ing at the age of 10, after being inspired by his father, who was a member of Sugar Hill Records group, Mean Machine.
Roc Raida was an original member of the X-Men turntable crew, who later became The X-Ecutioners, a DJ collective that helped innovate the art form of turntablism.
He became internationally known, after taking home the DMC World DJ Championship in 1995.
Grand Master Roc Raida released 12 albums total as a solo artist and as member of The X-Ecutioners.
Roc Raida, born Anthony Williams, also produced tracks, crafting song or worked with artists like Smif-N-Wessun, Fat Joe, Ghostface, Black Thought, Pink, Linkin Park and others.
His scratching can also be heard on O.C.’s timeless Hip-Hop track “Time’s Up.” Additionally, Grand Master Roc Raida served as Busta Rhymes’ official tour DJ.
Rhymes expressed his condolences today, via his Twitter page, after Roc Raida’s death became a trending topic on the popular micro-blogging site.
“I just wanna thank everyone 4 ur love and support and ur prayers,” Busta Rhymes Tweeted. “We will never let ur name die Roc…We love u and will 4ever miss u…RIP…I was told 2day, We r loosing [sic] all of these great people this year as a result of God calling his army because something is about 2 go down!”
Grand Master Roc Raida was also the creator of the popular Gong DJ Battle.
The next event was scheduled for September 30, in San Diego, California.