Whether you speak on his work as UTFO’s deejay,his influence on the technical development of the scratch or current presence in deejay culture Mixmaster Ice is a Hip Hop legend. The Harlem born, Brooklyn Bred deejay has been an Ohio resident since the Mid 90s so we have had the good fortune of seeing him at concert halls performing with other legends like Rakim, as well as rock dive bars and ratchet clubs. I spent most Sunday evenings from 2002-­2006 listening to Ice’s Old School Mixes during his stint on Power 107.5. So I was stoked that Ice came to my space in the Skylab building downtown last week. His hair was freshly braided. True to Hip Hop, Ice stays fresh so it cracked me up to walk him past a couple people in Death Metal t­shirts that were crashed out on the living room couch next to crushed beer cans. The best part is Mixmaster Ice made small talk with one groggy degenerate before taking a seat on my office’s couch and immediately took me back to the day he battled for the Mixmaster part of his moniker in 1982. “I used to be DJ Ice. There was a guy in the neighborhood calling himself Mixmaster Wood or Mixmaster John something like that. At the time you had Grand Wizard Theodore. You had Grand Master Flash. People had these real big titles in front of their name.” This is park jam era in New York; early days of Hip Hop my good people: Ice continued, “Where I come from; you can’t just bite somebody’s name. You have to battle them. I am from that battle era. You battle for equipment. You battle for reputation. You battle for names. You battle for whatever.” Ice said he hit Mixmaster Wood or John with the super duty tough work and it was over, “I went to his place to battle. If I am going to battle him I going to battle him on his terms and his set. We battled. I went on first. Maybe did a couple of minutes and he never went on. He just forfeited the whole thing. It was a done deal. At that point I started calling myself Mixmaster Ice.” Later in 1982 Ice linked up with the Educated Rapper to form a group with the Kangol Kid after the battle. Ice said that after the battle. “We ended up realizing that if we were the best in the neighborhood. Why don’t we all just get together, and be one big crew.” UTFO added Dr. Ice and eventually were discovered by R&B and Hip Hop producers Full Force. UTFO is perhaps best known for it’s role in the “Roxanne, Roxanne” beef, a song that was just supposed to be a b­side to their 1984 “Hanging out” single. Ice stated of the innocence in intention of “Roxanne, Roxanne” which set off one of Hip Hop’s most storied beefs with Roxanne Shante, “It was just a record. It didn’t have any meaning. We weren’t talking about anyone in particular. If fact, B­Fine from Full Force, he came up with the name. He had been trying to figure what he was going to do in the studio. B said,’ Let’s make a song about a girl.’” The “Roxanne Roxanne” record gathered some traction so a female rapper from Queen’s Rap collective, the Juice Crew, named Roxanne Shante made an answer record called, “Roxanne’s Revenge.” Ice spoke of how Roxanne Shante bogarted the moment, “Her name wasn’t even Roxanne. It was Shante. You know what I am sayin.’ Her name is Shante. Shante Goodman or something like that. Her name wasn’t even Roxanne. She just answered to the record, and the Roxanne title just fell upon her. She worked it. She was able to sustain a career from that.“ UTFO found their own Roxanne and had her rap on the song “The Real Roxanne” which ended up on their self­titled album release in 1985. The Roxanne answer record craze spread worldwide and with 15 different songs made by various artists. Although “Roxanne, Roxanne” was not intended to be a diss record the end result is Hip Hop history which Mixmaster Ice is grateful for, “We are blessed to even say we have a Hip Hop classic. A lot of hits. A lot of groups come and go, we are truly blessed either way.” U.T.F.O. toured with New Edition in 1985 and that’s when he first came to Columbus. He built relationships here after getting booked for club dates, and after parties. Eventually he moved to the C­0 in 1995 after getting involved with real estate. I mentioned in the intro some of my favorite moments. These days Mixmaster Ice can still be found around town flipping records and rocking crowds on the regular. He still makes his international rounds as a Turntable Statesman. Ice can be found on Monday­Wednesdays at the Prime Lounge. He does at Soul Train Tuesday at Retro Lounge. He also has a Happy Hour at Club Elite/Xclusive on Fridays.

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