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Martin Guttridge-Hewitt
11 April 2024, 12:17

Mister Cee, legendary New York DJ, dies aged 57

The DJ, producer and radio icon leaves behind an incredible hip-hop legacy

Mister Cee, legendary New York DJ, dies aged 57

Legendary New York DJ Mister Cee has died at the age of 57.

NYC hip-hop radio station Hot 97 broke the news on Wednesday 10th April 2024. Cee had been one of its most respected figureheads for several decades. At the time of writing, no cause has been revealed. 

“We have lost the iconic Mister Cee,” Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg posted on X. “I listened to him yesterday and am in complete shock. He was a dear friend to all of us, a wonderful man, and one of the most important and impactful DJs of all time. I love you Cee.”

A statement from the station read: "We’re deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved #MisterCee. He wasn’t just a DJ; he was a pillar of our stations, bringing joy to countless listeners with his legendary ‘Throwback at Noon’ sets. Mister Cee’s influence stretched far beyond the airwaves, shaping the very fabric of NYC’s DJ culture. Our hearts are heavy as we send our love and condolences to his family and the fans whose lives he touched through his music. Rest easy, Mister Cee. Your legacy will forever resonate"

Real name Calvin LeBrun, Brooklyn-born Cee first gained serious attention via his contribution to the landmark debut album from New York rap icon Big Daddy Kane, 'Long Live the Kane' and is the subject of the track 'Mister Cee's Master Plan'. 

The pair would work together on further four records, through to the 1993 outing 'Looks Like a Job For...' Around the same time, he also began working with another future hip-hop icon, Notorious B.I.G., with many crediting Cee with helping put the emerging rapper on the map. 

"All I did at the time was try to get anybody and everybody to listen to him. Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, I would try to force Biggie down their throat, like, you gotta hear this guy," Cee, who went on to executive produce Notorious B.I.G.'s first LP, 'Ready To Die', recalled in an interview last year

Cee was also a firm fixture at Hot 97 for several decades, earning huge respect from the likes of Jay-Z and Funkmaster Flex in that time. After leaving the station in 2014, he continued to broadcast independently, releasing mix tapes and playing clubs. 

You can still listen back to his sets here

Tributes have been paid from across the hip-hop community and beyond to the influential figure.