On this date in 1965, Jeffrey Townes, better known to Hip Hop and television fans as “Jazzy Jeff,” was born in the City of Brother Love and has become one of the best ever to place their hands on a pair of Technics 1200s.

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Originally known as the DJ for rapper/actor The Fresh Prince, aka Will Smith, Jeff’s claim to fame was his seemingly innate ability to play the wheels of steel-like instruments, popularizing the “transformer” style scratching sound, which was mimicked by many DJs who succeeded and preceded him. The two-time Grammy Award winner later became an established producer, sitting behind the boards for artists like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, The Roots, Floetry, and many more. Just last year, Jazz worked on the Straight Outta Compton film, doing scratch overdubs for the classic flick.

Happy birthday, and salute to one of the pioneers of the 1s and 2s of Hip Hop culture!