Brooklyn Mourns: D.J. Icon Mister Cee Passes Away at 57

Mister Cee, a prominent figure in New York City’s vibrant 1990s hip-hop scene and an early advocate for the Notorious B.I.G., has passed away at the age of 57. His death was confirmed on Wednesday by Skip Dillard, the brand manager at WXBK 94.7 The Block NYC, where Mister Cee hosted a show. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.

Known for his infectious mixes that graced New York radio for decades, Mister Cee was a celebrated DJ on Hot 97 for over 20 years, leaving the station in 2014. He played a pivotal role as the executive producer of the Notorious B.I.G.’s groundbreaking debut album, “Ready to Die.”

Born Calvin Lebrun in August 1966 in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Mister Cee developed his passion for DJing under the guidance of an uncle who was also a DJ. Influenced by legendary hip-hop acts like World Famous Supreme Team and Awesome Two, he aspired to make his mark in the industry and fulfill his dream of being on the radio.

Despite his departure from Hot 97 due to the station’s evolving musical direction, Mister Cee’s impact resonated deeply. Chris Green, a promoter at Capitol Musical Group, described him as “the glue between the old and the new” on Hot 97, showcasing his enduring influence on the hip-hop community.

Mister Cee faced challenges, including a brief resignation in 2013 following revelations about his personal life. Despite these hurdles, he remained a highly respected figure, continuing to spin records in clubs and on various radio programs.

In tribute to his legacy, 94.7 The Block NYC honored Mister Cee by airing a recording of his 2022 mix, paying homage to the Notorious B.I.G. on what would have been the late rapper’s 50th birthday.

Before his groundbreaking work with the Notorious B.I.G., Mister Cee collaborated with icons like Big Daddy Kane and played a pivotal role in launching the careers of artists such as 50 Cent.

Mister Cee’s contributions to hip-hop will be remembered fondly, leaving an indelible mark on the genre and inspiring countless aspiring DJs and musicians. Though a full list of his survivors is not immediately available, his influence and legacy endure, as evidenced by the outpouring of tributes from fans and colleagues alike.