Legendary and influential New York musician DJ Spinbad has died at the age of 46 on Monday.
According to an NME report, his cause of death has yet to be determined. The news of his passing brought tributes from the likes of artists A-Trak, El-P, and Canadian comic Russell Peters.
In particular, Peters recalled how Spinbad was able to get crowds warmed up ahead of his comedy shows.
DJ Spinbad’s career included two albums, multiple mixtapes
Spinbad, whose real name was Chris Sullivan, was born in Queens, New York, back in October of 1974. He’d go on to become a well-known DJ, appearing on various primetime mix shows including those on the top New York urban station, Power 105.1, and on the No. 1 top 40 station in the country, Z100.
He became well known for the latter, also known as New York City radio station WHTZ. Spinbad performed 20-minute sets at various times on a regular schedule. While he was cut from staff due to a recession at one point, he’d return in 2011 to work as part of the Saturday Night Online staff. He was part of shows simulcast in other parts of the country, giving him more recognition.
Additionally, Spinbad appeared on Live In The Den with Big Tigger and popped up on late-night programs. Those included Saturday Night Live and late-night shows hosted by Dave Letterman, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien. He also made plenty of live appearances and showed mastery on the “wheels of steel” with his scratching skills during his legendary career.
He became well-known as a producer and remixer during his career.
His discography includes two albums, 2001’s Underground Airplay Version 1.0, MIC Media, and 2004’s FabricLive. 14, Fabric.
Spinbad has over 20 mixtapes, including the wildly popular Rock the Casbah (The ‘80s Megamix). The album, which arrived back in 1995, is considered one of the most bootlegged in history.
Spinbad’s notoriety as a DJ also landed him touring gigs with Moby and comedian Russell Peters.
See images and videos from Spinbad on his official Instagram page.
Russell Peters, others pay tribute to Spinbad
Following the news that DJ Spinbad had passed away, many people paid tribute online to the legendary New York musician. That included Russell Peters, who took to his Instagram to shared an emotional tribute to his late friend.
“This is a post I had hoped I’d never have to make but it’s with a broken heart that I have to say, bye to my brother, my friend, my DJ, one of the most creative and brilliant minds I’ve ever known…,” Peters wrote as part of his message with a series of images he shared.
“I can’t believe you’re not here anymore… trying to find the right pictures of us has me all f**ked up and crying, because we have waaaay too many memories together… I love you my brother and I don’t know how to keep it together..,.” Peters said.
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This is a post I had hoped I’d never have to make but it’s with a broken heart that I have to say, bye to my brother, my friend, my DJ, one of the most creative and brilliant minds I’ve ever known… i can’t believe you’re not here anymore… trying to find the right pictures of us has me all fucked up and crying, because we have waaaay too many memories together… I love you my brother and I don’t know how to keep it together… #RIPDjSpinbad #MyBrother
Canadian DJ, record producer, and label executive A-Trak (Alain Macklovitch) shared several tweets, including memories of his favorite Spinbad mixtapes. He also paid credited the late musician for being a pioneer in terms of the way DJing evolved.
“Spinbad really gave a lot of djs their style. A lot of djs do what they do because of him,” A-Trak shared in one of his tweets (below).
Roots drummer and frontman Questlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson), also featured with the band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, shared an Instagram post about Spinbad.
“This one hurt man. Thank you Chris. Rest In Beats To The Great @DJSpinbad,” Questlove wrote in his caption.
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Hip-hop artist RA the Rugged Man (R.A. Thorburn), also based out of New York, tweeted in remembrance of Spinbad.
“REST IN PEACE to NYC’s own DJ SPINBAD. Super talent and innovator. Damn,” the hip-hop star tweeted.
Run the Jewels member, and solo rapper El-P (real name Jaime Meline), tweeted a simple RIP message for the late Spinbad.
Rapper Immortal Technique (Felipe Andres Coronel) shared a photo of Spinbad doing what he loved and wrote, “Rest in Power DJ Spinbad” on his tweet.
Others who paid tribute to the late DJ Spinbad on Twitter included Alchemist, Pete Rock, DJ Spider, DJ EU, DJ Revolution, DJ Z-Trip, Beat Junkies, and the popular radio station HOT 97.