As a member of a neighborhood group of Disco DJ’s known as the Disco Enforcers, Lee began to DJ under the name DJ Magic.
At this time there was a blossoming of local Disco celebrity DJ’s, coming up across the city and the borough of Queens was no different.
Crews like Cipher Sounds, Nu Sounds, The Disco Twins, Jamaica Sounds, Ankey’s Crew, Professor & Company and Infinity Machine were all in their infant stages but had already amassed a steady and growing fan base amongst followers.
As the interest in the Disco sound began to fade, DJ’s in the Bronx (Kool Herc, Bambaataa, Grand Master Flash) began to experiment with a new sound called B-Boy, now currently known as Hip-Hop.
Along with emcee’s like; Coke la Rock, Clark Kent, Mele Mel, Caz, Luv Bug Starski and Pebbely Poo, they fashioned the sound into a hybrid mix of Disco, Soul, Latin and Rock selections, worked double time by the DJ because he only played what was then known as the breaks on the songs, over and over in a repetitive manner, thus turning that break into its own separate song.
The MCs would talk over the break with the use of microphones and sometimes echo chambers to excite the crowd, and this in essence was the creation of the Hip-Hop sound, and it didn’t take long for the rest of the city to catch on.
In 1978, he along with DJ’s Wayne (Easy E) Ely, Randy (Candy Man) Joyner and Robert (Robbie Rob) Ford, formed “Sight & Sound“.
Now going under the moniker, M.C. Magic, Lee, his cousin Rob, his sister Dawn (Cheba D.) and his then girlfriend, Kesha (Kesha Kee), became the Frightful 4 MCs (emulating The Funky 4 and Sha’ Rock), and did house parties and park jams throughout the borough.
In early to mid 80s, teaming up with DJ Ely, Magic would work to solidify his reputation as a Hip-Hop DJ and MC, this time in the Tide Water area.
Working in conjunction with the local radio station, KISS-96 fm, Magic would host and/or perform at various parties and events
He even created a trio of teenage female rappers called “Femunique 3 MC’s” who grew popular in the local area.
With the release of the film Beat Street in 1984, Magic saw this as a sign to head back to New York and returned in 1985 to form the group, “The New-breed“, opening for Grandmaster Mele Mel , The Force MC’s, Rock Master Scott and Doug E. Fresh at the Jamaica Armory.
In 1986, Magic decided that it was time to look at the entertainment industry, on the whole as an opportunity to start a real career, and not just to have fun.
Upon making the conscious decision to now use his real name; Lee Derrick.
It was in the summer of 1988 when Lee Derrick would be introduced to three female rappers; MC Mel, MC Me, and Gina Dee, collectively known as FLEXX.
The Brooklyn based group of upstarts had secured a few beats from super producer, FRESH Gordon and was looking for a writer to pen a few songs.
Lee noticed the potential in the style and appearance of the group and jumped at the chance to work with them.
For the next year or so the FLEXX roster would change occasionally with MC’s “Mel” and “Me” as the standing foundation of the group and Lee now taking up most of the writing and production duties along with the girls.
It was through his relationship with FLEXX that Lee would go on to meet Nicci Bowie, whom he would pen the rap for on the Prince Paul produced, Fine Young Cannibals remix of “I’m not Satisfied“, released on London Records in Europe and MCA in America in 1990.
In the early 90’s FLEXX would eventually land a deal with New York based JBR Records/Atco and go into their studio to redo the songs from the demo.
It was there that Lee Derrick would meet and befriend long time R&B icon, Daniel LeMelle, of Rick James and the Stone City band fame.
After a few weeks of working together redoing the FLEXX songs, Daniel invited Lee to become a part of his production team at Lions-Den studios, along with well known R&B percussionist Nate Hughes.
In 1998, BigLee, now the “Head of Black Music” at REACT, executive produced the album; The Final Chapter with West Coast legends, Rodney O & Joe Cooley featuring, Pookie Duke on WEST Funk Records, and the underground masterpiece, Blacc Plague by Horror-core creators, Insane Poetry, on Night-breed Records, both labels distributed by REACT.
By the summer of 98, BigLee, Sebastian and New York transplant, Pure Black had started a privately owned publicity firm called, N.A.P.P.Y. Executives (Nationally Advertising, Publicizing, & Promoting You).
BigLee produced, and co-produced, webcast concerts featuring artists like, reggae legends; Steel Pulse (2000 Tour), Puff Daddy & The Family (European Tour) featuring Doug E. Fresh, Sisqo, Lil Kim, and 112, the 2 Gee launch party & benefit for Toys for Tots featuring Gza & Wu Tang Clan, The Roots, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, and digital content featuring, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson & The Jacksons, and Toni Braxton.
He also represented the company at digital media summits and conferences in Cologne Germany, Cannes France, Amsterdam, London and various cities in the United States.
In 2002, after two years of heading up urban marketing at mcy.com, Lee was offered the same position at iBall media, a new digital content production company based in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville.
Currently lee goes by the name, Cheda’ Jones and resides in the New York metropolitan area with his wife and son.
He has been featured in articles and periodicals including; The NY Daily News, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Rap Sheet newspaper, Image magazine, The Source magazine, BET’s YSB magazine and YES Magazine.
He has written for the Song Writers Muse Paper and Rap Pages magazine, and appeared in the independent film Freestyle, the art of rhyme, directed by DJ Organic.
Posted on May 12, 2013, in Bios and tagged 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 90s, afrika bambaataa, candy man, cheba d, cheda jones, classic, disco dj, disco enforcers, dj magoc, doug e fresh, fine young cannibals, flexx, frightful 4 mcs, golden, golden age, grandmaster flash, hip hop, kesha, kool herc, lee derrick, lee haymore, lovebug starski, mc magic, new york, old school, pebbly poo, rap, rapper, rare, robbie rob, robert ford, wayne. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.