Billboard reports that the hip-hop innovator Lovebug Starski has died in Las Vegas. He was 57.
Starski, whose real name was Kevin Smith, grew up in the Bronx, and he was one of the first people to MC over DJs’ breaks at Bronx parties. In the ’70s, when hip-hop only existed as party music and as something that people passed around on bootleg tapes, Starski worked with DJs like DJ Hollywood and Grandmaster Flash. He released his first single “Positive Live” in 1981. In 1986, he had a minor hit with the single “Amityville (The House On The Hill).”
Starski also became a DJ, working at Disco Fever, a New York club that was enormously important in rap’s early days. He continued to DJ around New York and elsewhere for the rest of his life.
Below, check out a couple of Starski’s singles.