#TBT DJ SPOTLIGHT: @djhurricane2

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DJ Hurricane (born Wendell T. Fite) hailing from Hollis, Queens, New York) is a hip hop DJ, producer and rapper best known for his work as The Beastie Boys’ DJ for 15 years from 1986 – 2000. He was also a member of the groups Solo Sounds and The Afros and recorded three solo albums, featuring many well known artists such as the Beastie Boys and Talib Kweli.

One of New York’s premier hip-hop artists on the turntables, DJ Hurricane fostered his skills alongside Run D.M.C. in the Hollis, Queens area of New York City before eventually hooking up with the Beastie Boys, where he made a name for himself as the group’s DJ before going on to release his own albums. Hurricane began rhyming at the age of 11, during hip-hop’s infancy, eventually forming a group called the Solo Sounds and later the Afros. While serving as one of Run D.M.C.’s body guards on the 1986 Raising Hell tour, he became friends with the Beastie Boys, who were the tour’s opening act. It wasn’t long before the Beasties offered Hurricane an opportunity to be their exclusive DJ. In 1993, along with the Beastie Boys, he contributed the track “It’s The New Style” to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization.

As the Beasties rose to fame with each successive album in the 1990s, Hurricane simultaneously reveled in the spotlight, releasing his first solo album in 1995 on Grand Royal (Mike D’s label), titled The Hurra (guest artists include the Beastie Boys, MC Breed, and Sen Dog)..

In 1986 The Beastie Boys began their career as the opening act for the Raising Hell Tour that included the first successful breed of touring hip hop groups, Run D.M.C, LL Cool J and Whoodini. The Beastie Boys were stuck with no DJ as their first DJ quit early on the tour as no credible hip hop DJ wanted to DJ for a white hip hop group. The Beastie Boys went to Russell Simmons for guidance on finding a DJ, Simmons then went to Run D.M.C’s DJ- the legendary and recently deceased, Jam Master Jay which so happened to be one of Hurricane’s best friends. The Beastie Boys asked Hurricane to DJ and he hesitated as at that time, white hip hop groups didn’t seem legitimate and then with some coercing from Simmons and Jam Master Jay, Hurricane decided to step in as The Beastie Boys DJ and completed rest of the tour.

The Beastie Boys loved DJ Hurricane and asked Hurricane to be their DJ permanently. The Raising Hell Tour was over and The Beastie Boys inclusive of DJ Hurricane released what is known as one of the most successful hip hop albums, Licensed To Ill. The License To Ill tour in 1987. The License to Ill album took the Beastie Boys and DJ Hurricane all around the world and the phenomenom of The Beastie Boys started to explode in the United States with the song “Fight for Your Right to Party” which took over the airwaves and MTV. That album broke The Beastie Boys as the first credible and commercial white hip hop act. The Beastie Boys success was validated in 1988 when they toured with Run D.M.C which at that time was the first biggest international hip hop tour selling out arenas and stadiums worldwide.

In 1989, The Beastie Boys album entitled Paul’s Boutique on Capitol Records earned the group enormous press credibility however not the enormous touring opportunities during that the License to Ill tour provided. In 1992 the group released Check Your Head where the Beasaties incorporated a band with DJ Huricane and the group did a highly successful tour run. In 1994, DJ Hurricane wrote the hit single, “Sure Shot” and the group earned a slot on the highly successful Lolllapolloza Tour in the U.S. and throughout the world for more than a year. As hip hop was evolving in the late 90’s , The Beastie Boys with DJ Hurricane did various concert and television performances. Their album, Hello Nasty released in 1998 included the song “3 mc’s and a DJ” co-written by DJ Hurricane. Five years later in late 2000, after having parted ways with the Beasties prior to their album Hello Nasty in 1998, Hurricane released his second album, Don’t Sleep, which found him much more conceptually collected and with a broad scope of guest artists, including Kool G Rap, Xzibit, Scott Weiland, Public Enemy, Rah Digga, Talib Kweli, and others In 1998 DJ Hurricane began to focus on his own career releasing a solo album entitled, Severe Damage touring the U.S. In 2000, DJ Hurricane released Don’t Sleep which included a hit roster of guest appearances on the album including Public Enemy, Adrock of the Beastie Boys, Black Thought of The Roots, Faith Evans and many more.

Today DJ Hurricane Started and  runs his own production company “Don’t Sleep Productions” and is overseeing the career of JBYRD, a 13 year old rapper from Georgia who has become a digital phenomenom with a tribute song and video for the Green Bay Packers the video has became a viral favorite with over 1 million YouTube hits almost overnight and earned JBYRD recognition on throughout the web on hip hop sites as well as in publications Complex.com, the WallStreet Journal cover and Billboard Magazine.

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