Pioneering Hip-Hop DJ Eddie Cheba Has Died

Hip-Hop pioneer Eddie Cheba has diedAccording to close friend Van Silk, he passed away from a cardiac arrest at 7:16 a.m. ET on Tuesday (February 13). Cheba's sister, Sarah Shawn, confirmed the news on social media. Cheba had been sick for at least six months and suffered not one but three strokes. The trailblazing DJ was considered one of the biggest club DJs in New York City throughout the 1970s and could easily pack the house on any given night.

"I met Eddie back in 1975, the same time I met DJ Hollywood and Reggie Wells," Van Silk told AllHipHop. "Reggie Wells and Eddie Cheba grew up in Douglas Houses in Manhattan. My experience with Eddie Cheba is very sentimental. He played for many of my parties and we did Broadway International together. Eddie definitely cannot be left out of the culture of Hip-Hop. Trust me. Sad to say Eddie Cheba's last performance and interview was last August 11 at the Rapamania 50 event. Eddie was booked to perform, and I told him to get on the mic. We have along personal history and been in touch with him over the last six years. He will definitely be missed."

Def Jam Recordings Co-Founder Russell Simmons, who was there in the very beginning of Cheba's career, revealed he'd been hospitalized last October. Simmons credits Cheba with inspiring him to pursue a career in Hip-Hop, when Simmons heard him perform in Harlem in 1977. He, too, is mourning the loss on social media. As he wrote on Instagram, "One more legendary ground breaking rapper has passed and the Hip-Hop community was too un educated to give him the proper flowers he deserved it was cheba or hollywood and if u couldn't get one of those definitely go get a smaller venue make sure u reach out and get love bug starsky (rip) and charge less but thats the fact.

"is it was in that order they were the 3 biggest stars and they were the reason we got to make rap records as a promoter of hip hop promoting all 5 boroughs im 100000% sure that before there was a recording art when there was only performance artists eddie cheba was a major mastermind of hip hop all these rich rappers and "moguls" you are standing on his shoulders!!!!! GIVE THE MAN HIS FLOWERS RIP THE GREAT LEGENDARY EDDIE CHEBA."

(This story was originally published on AllHipHop.)