New York Radio DJ and producer, Mister Cee, has died aged 57


share close

Mister Cee, real name Calvin LeBrun, has passed away aged 57.

A prominent figure in New York City’s hip hop scene, the Brooklyn-born broadcaster made his name as a radio personality in the early 90s on HOT 97 and WBLS airwaves.

The news was confirmed by HOT 97 on April 10 who wrote “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Mister Cee…Mr. Cee’s influence stretched far beyond the airwaves, shaping the very fabric of NYC’s DJ culture”.

Born in Brooklyn 1966 to a West Indian family, LeBrun reportedly learned to DJ at a young age after being inspired by the music he heard during his childhood and his Uncle who was a DJ.

” I never had an interest in rapping. It was always music, music, music for me. Music was always playing in my house, and then radio in New York got popular” he revealed in an interview with Rock The Bells.

Lebrun formulated a friendship with Big Daddy Kane in high school; a union that would help spark the career he is recognised for today. The burgeoning DJ and producer worked on music and toured with Kane, all the while building a name for himself in radio.

In another fateful encounter, Lebrun would chance upon The Notorious B.I.G in the early 90s, a future hip hop legend whose career he is often accredited with founding.

“I knew he was dope. I didn’t think he would become what he would before passing away. All I did at the time was try to get anybody and everybody to listen to him”.

The DJ reportedly helped the young rapper record his demo, facilitated a record deal and served as associate executive producer on Biggie’s classic debut album ‘Ready to Die’ in 1994.

Mister Cee continued to broadcast on HOT 97 for 21 years hosting the ‘Throwback at Noon’ show which was among the “most listened-to programs on New York City Radio at the time” according to Hot97.

During this time he continued to champion the careers of young rising stars including Jay Z, Alicia Keys and 50 Cent.

Mister Cee left HOT 97 in 2013 after the radio DJ was arrested on multiple occasions for soliciting male and transgender prostitutes. The DJ’s sexual preferences became a topic of controversy in the press with the stress of publicity leading him to drink so much soda he started to go blind.

For many years the DJ denied all allegations, in an interview with GQ he would later accredit this choice to his conservative West Indian upbringing, the AIDS epidemic and increasing homophobia in rap.

After his career at HOT 97, Cee continued a career in radio on The Block and Rock The Bells radio on SiriusXM.

Since the news of his passing yesterday, condolences have flooded in for the late radio DJ including tributes from Rapper 50 Cent, Rapper MC Lyte and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

One commenter below the post shared their shock at the news “What !? I just heard him on the radio a few days ago”.

Belle Richardson is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter.

Written by: Tim Hopkins

Rate it