Sunday, January 17, 2010

It took me back to a time.....

It took me back to a time when I would sit in front of my boom box radio, play cassettes back and forth pretending to be a DJ. I would go on like that for hours at a time dreaming of creating fascinating mixes. In later years I would go on to buy a set of turntables but, lacking the inspiration and motivation, that dream never became more than a hobby. I was reminded of these memories when I began reading the book 'It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ' by Ivan Sanchez and Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño. The book is truly a representation of perseverance and overcoming some of the negative challenges of life. Luis has definitely proven that he was able to avoid and/or deviate from the potholes of life. The book and his life story are a perfect example of the inspiration that many young Latinos need. Since the early days of Hip Hop, Latinos have been making contributions in one way or another. Here we have Hip Hop's first Latino DJ.

About Luis " DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño
Born in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban mother, during the 60's, at a time when The Bronx was suffering a sharp decline in quality of life, Luis would struggle through an often harsh and violent relationship with an alcoholic father. Like many kids of that time he would hustle in the streets with his crew. Salvation came calling, when now legendary Grandmaster Caz convinced his mother to buy some DJ equipment, and asked Luis to join him on the turntables. This would set the stage for many a DJ battles during the early days of Hip Hop. This was history in the making as Luis was the first Latino to bless the turntables. He, along with Caz, would go on to make the first "mixed plate" (combined sound bites, special effects, and paused beats) in 1977.
While his life would take an unfortunate turn, he would be convicted and sentenced to nine years for an attempted murder charge, it would be a lesson in life, perseverance and self- determination. Although he chose not to pursue a career in Hip Hop after prison, his love for it would keep him following it and it would eventually call to him.
A series of interviews with Ivan Sanchez would lead to an outpouring on his life and the making of the book 'It's Just Begun:.....->.

Read more about Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño at PowerHouse Books
DJ Disco Wiz on
DJ Disco Wiz on Urban Latino Radio

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild Style in the Bronx (Simon & Schuster, 2008)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the early history lesson of Latinos in Hip-Hop. I never knew anything about DJ Disco Wiz, then again, I was not even born till after the mid 1980s. Either way it's nice to see an early representation of Latino brethren in the land of Hip-Hop. I'm gonna check out that author too, Ivan Sanchez, thanks for the link. BTW, that was one bad-a$$ rap, wepa!