Legendary DJ Mister Cee Has Passed Away

Legendary DJ, radio personality, and Hip-Hop producer Mister Cee has reportedly died. The Brooklyn, New Yorker born Calvin LeBrun was instrumental to the careers of The Notorious B.I.G. and Big Daddy Kane during a career that lasted over 35 years. He was believed to be 57 years old at the time of his death. Mister Cee’s cause of death has not been made public, while several industry peers and acquaintances have mourned the Juice Crew-affiliated artist who was known as “The Finisher.”

The DJ for Kane and Biggie is credited with the latter’s discovery. In the early 1990s, Mister Cee joined the late DJ 50 Grand (who passed in 2022) in presenting Christopher Wallace’s Rap ambitions to emerging executives, including The Source magazine’s Matty C, and later—Uptown Records’ Sean Combs. As a result, the DJ was among the credited producers on Biggie’s 1994 debut, Ready To Die, when it eventually arrived at Puff’s subsequent Bad Boy imprint.

Mister Cee Celebrates Biggie’s B’day With A Mix Of Rarities & Deep Cuts

In 2010, Cee detailed that demo with MTV News‘ Shaheem Reid. “‘Microphone Murderer’ is the main demo [song],” Cee said. “It’s the demo that I took to Matty C from The Source magazine for the ‘Unsigned Hype’ article. Diddy heard about The Source magazine ‘Unsigned Hype’ situation. So the ‘Microphone Murderer’ was the demo song Puff’ heard and got him signed. Besides ‘Microphone Murderer,’ [the demo tape included] ‘Guaranteed Raw,’ ‘Live In Action,’ and another song called ‘Love No Ho.’ And when we say demo, it wasn’t a four-track. It was just [50] DJing on two records in his crib.”

Last year, Cee told Rock The Bells‘ Adam Aziz about his 1995 Best Of Biggie tape. “That mixtape changed my life. It changed everything. My brand, my life. With Best Of Biggie, I made the most money. When Best Of Biggie came out, I got a cease and desist from Arista Records. They told me not to put the tape out. I got scared and told Steve and Ian from Tape Kingz that we had to shut the tape down. A week later, I got the idea to talk to Puff [Daddy] about it. He told me not to worry and put the tape out, and he would speak to Arista. It’s what’s making Biggie hot in the streets. We put the tape back out and didn’t have any trouble.”

Mister Cee Opens Up To GQ, Says That Biggie Smalls Would Have Stood By Him

Over a decade ago, Cee was covered in the media for non-musical reasons. The prominent personality and mix-master was arrested multiple times for soliciting sex, including with an undercover police officer. After news outlets reported that the official was male, Mister Cee spoke out publicly, including with the then-colleague at HOT 97, Ebro Darden. “I am not gay,” the artist told Ebro while appearing on the station’s morning show. Cee then announced a self-imposed suspension from his job at HOT. Cee added, “They tried to turn it around and say the female officer was a male officer. It was a sting operation.”

Later, in September of 2013, Mister Cee used his radio platform to speak about his sexuality, including confirming “urges.” The confirmation, which was reported in GQ and beyond, made Mister Cee an early and rare figure within the Hip-Hop community to admit to same-sex experiences publicly. 

Mister Cee Explains Why Biggie’s Ready To Die Sounds Like 2 Different Albums

Outside of Kane and Biggie, Mister Cee earned production credits with Masta Ace, MC Shan, and others. He was also a member of the Flip Squad DJs along with Biz Markie, Big Kap, Mark Ronson, Funkmaster Flex, and others. After leaving HOT 97, Mister Cee went to satellite radio Backspin and, recently, LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells.

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Mister Cee.