kinda late on posting this but we lost one of our best turntablists recently....
Anthony "Grand Master Roc Raida" Williams was born in Harlem New York on May 17th, 1972 to Brenda Williams-Bolling & William “Tony”
He passed away on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 from a cardiac arrest resulting from injuries he suffered in an accident while training in Krav Maga, a type self defense system that he had been studying weekly for the last two years. He was proud that his 15-year-old daughter, Asia, shared his passion for Krav Maga and was the only girl in their class.
At an early age, Anthony joined the Mt Neboh Baptist Church & was baptized under the leadership of the Late Rev. William D. Gardner. It is at Mount Neboh where he served faithfully during his youth. He was a member of the Children's Choir, the Junior Choir, the Usher Board, and a former mascot for the Male Chorus of which his grandfather, the Late Deacon Early Williams was a member.
Anthony Williams was both African-American and Puerto Rican. He lived most of his life in Harlem but after marrying his soul mate, Tyeasha on June 26, 1997, they moved to the Bronx. Several years ago, they realized their dream of owning a home and relocated their family to Maryland. He encouraged and shared in his wife’s dream of one day opening up her own beauty salon.
He began DJing at the age of 12, spinning at local parties around Harlem. By 1995, Roc Raida represented the United States at the DMC World DJ Championships and won! He was the first DJ from New York City to hold this title and was automatically inducted into the DMC/Technics DJ Hall of Fame. Throughout his life, he lived his passion - being a professional Hip Hop DJ. He was blessed to have touring the world as his day job. Williams was honored to have worked with recording artists including Showbiz & AG, Lord Finesse, Kool G Rap and most recently, he toured exclusively with Busta Rhymes.
Although his family called him “Ant” (short for Anthony), he became known worldwide as legendary DJ Roc Raida. In 1999, Grand Master status was bestowed upon him by a group of pioneering Hip Hop DJs, during a conference at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.
Before he passed, he asked his 10 yr. old daughter, Nyra, who was the most interested, of his children, in DJing to take over for him as a DJ. She agreed!
With a very aggressive swagger on the turntables, those who knew Roc Raida were floored by his humbleness. His wife, Tyeasha reports, “His notoriety amazed him every day!” He never took that for granted. Williams was also known to be very quiet, private and easy going. His self-control was commendable unless he was pushed to his limit and then he would roar. In fact, Lord Finesse called his friend “the quiet lion” for this very reason. Those closest to him have the pleasure of remembering him also as a hilarious comedian, loving to joke and laugh.
Roc Raida through battles, performances, videos, dvds and even a Pepsi commercial, influenced thousands of DJs, both to party rock as well as to battle and he took several aspiring DJs under his wing to mentor personally. As a member of legendary turntablist crews, The X-Men and The X-ecutioners, he along with his brothers-in-vinyl took the world by storm, innovating, influencing and inspiring at every turn. In 2006, to progress and contribute to the Hip Hop DJ battle scene, he founded Roc Raida’s Gong DJ Battle, a national DJ battle that occurs annually, combining head to head turntablist dexterity with comedy and drama.
Not only was he a World Champion DJ, he was a dedicated father and husband.
Anthony leaves to cherish his memories; his loving wife: Tyeasha Williams; three beautiful daughters: Asia, Nyra & Tia; one son: Earl Tyric Smiley; mother: Brenda Williams-Bolling; his step-father: Clarence Bolling; mother-in-law: Clarice Powell; father-in-law: Deryl Hunt; sister: Tamneka Bolling; 2 brother-in-laws: Willie Neat & Keith Powell; 3 aunts: Arlene Tramble, Jacquline Knox of FL, & Jacquline (Donald) Tramble; 1 god-sister: Tina Carter; Adoptive Grandmother: Juanita Jackson and a host of cousins & dear friends.
Anthony is now reunited with his grandparents, Deacon Early & Helen Williams & his Aunt Minister Carol Knox.
The family would like to acknowledge these amazing "God-sends". They have truly been Tye's backbone throughout this ordeal. To: Henley "Pro" Halem, Sean C, Fat Man Scoop, Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier and Christie Z. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!
The family would like to expressly thank Chatman-Harris Funeral Home in Baltimore MD as well as Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem NY for their generosity and kindness.