DJ Mister Cee, New York Hip-Hop Icon, Dead at 57

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Calvin LeBrun, known in New York as the legendary DJ Mister Cee, has died at 57. On Tuesday, Hot 97 announced the news, citing his family confirmed his death. HiHot 97’s Peter Rosenberg took to X to pay tribute to his former colleague.

“We have lost the iconic Mister Cee. I listened to him yesterday and am in complete shock. He was a dear friend to all of us, a wonderful man, and one of the most important and impactful DJs of all time. I love you Cee,” Rosenberg wrote.

In the station’s official statement regarding his death, New York’s Hot 97 said, “As a family at HOT 97 and WBLS, we’re deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Mister Cee. He wasn’t just a DJ; he was a pillar of our stations, bringing joy to countless listeners with his legendary Throwback at Noon and Friday Night Live sets.” Cee, who was helming the Set It Off Show on Sirius XM’s Rock The Bells radio, was also renowned for DJing parties all over the tri-state area for decades.

Along with being a legendary radio fixture, the Brooklynite known as “The Finisher” was the DJ behind Big Daddy Kane’s Long Live The Kane debut album and also had a hand in the early chapters of the late Notorious B.I.G’s career. Late Brooklyn DJ 50 Grand received the Notorious B.I.G.’s original demo and introduced him to Cee, who told Rock the Bells about meeting Biggie just last year: 

“The first time I met him was when his DJ 50 Grand, rest in peace, brought Big to my house. The plan was we were going to redo the basement demo that he and 50 Grand put together,” Mister Cee said. “Big was very shy. He would always talk with his head down and say, ‘Yo man, don’t be promising me nothing, man. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, we’re going to redo the demo.’” 

The revitalized demo was then passed to The Source’s Matteo Glen Capoluongo, aka “Matty C,” who wrote about Biggie in the magazine’s Unsigned Hype column. Soon after, Bad Boy President Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs signed Biggie, and Mister Cee became the associate executive producer on his Ready To Die debut. 

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In 2014, Cee was the first person to play Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” on the radio, spurring the New Jersey artist’s meteoric rise. “I want to get this record on before it gets to the city, because it’s going to get to New York,” he raved at the time. 

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