Written by Dro (of The305
): Even nine years after his horrific murder, DJ Uncle Al's name still
rings heavy in the streets of Liberty City. In what was said to be a
case of mistaken identity, Al's death on September 10, 2001 was
overshadowed by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon. Four years after the fact, a suspect was charged with the
murder, but then those charges were dropped in 2007.
Ahead of his time in more ways than one, Uncle Al's albums elevated his
career and made him an underground celebrity. He served as DJ on a
short-lived, but popular radio show with Luke and Freaky Red on 99 Jamz.
And his ultimate goal of Peace in the Hood still runs vibrant today.
What about DJ Uncle Al's legacy? DJ Krunch One of the Street Connect
DJs was one of Al's closest friends. He was also one of the original
members of Al's crew, the Sugar Hill DJs, which was named after the
Sugar Hill projects in Liberty City where they all grew up. Krunch One
thinks there's still a lot that need to be done in order to preserve
Uncle Al's memory and his legacy.
"We're trying to turn NW 15th Avenue between MLK to NW 71st to DJ
Uncle Al Avenue," Krunch One says. "Everybody knows how much [Al] meant
to the community, but nobody is really doing anything. Let's give back
to his kids who still live out here. Let's set up a foundation for them,
help them and really keep his legacy alive."
While we know the above is easier said than done, we definitely
wish them luck. We can at least tell you that Uncle Al and his memory
still lives strong. Over the last week, New Times was able to ask
a few of the faces of Miami's hip-hop scene what they remember most
about Al and his legacy. Here's what they said:
"Uncle Al was
for the people. He is a Miami legend! Uncle Al was my friend and was one
of the most humblest person I know. He represented Miami "
- DJ Khaled, DJ/Producer (99 Jamz/We The Best Music Group)
"Growing up, the hip-hop scene and the bass scene were two different
scenes. But you could not go to a club or house party without jamming
out to an Uncle Al track at some point. Even though I was a die-hard
hip-hop head, I had a lot of respect for bass music 'cause it was
Miami's very own homegrown creation. The first time I saw Uncle Al
perform, and I say perform 'cause thats what these DJs did, was at a
battle between Sugar Hill DJs and Jam Pony Express. I left that party
with mad respect for what those DJs did and especially for DJ Uncle Al. I
finally got the chance to meet and speak with Uncle Al during an
interview for a magazine (Trife Life Magazine
). It was at Studio
183 during a Goodie Mob concert and Uncle Al was the DJ that night. What
I remember most about that conversation was him telling us that he
supported everything that represented Miami. It didn't matter if it was
bass, hip-hop, R&B, black, white, or Latino, if it was representing
Miami he would try and support it. He was a real humble, down-to-earth
dude. And regardless of having national success, he still kept himself
grounded in his neighborhood."
- DJ EFN (Crazy Hood Productions) CONTINUE READING.....