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Remembering Mr. Magic: A New Orleans Rap Icon

In the vibrant tapestry of New Orleans' hip-hop scene, few figures loom as large as Awood Johnson Jr., better known by his stage name Magic or Mr. Magic. Born and raised in the storied Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Magic rose from the city's underground circuit to become a prominent voice in the rap world, leaving an indelible mark with his distinctive style and infectious charisma.

Magic's journey began in the trenches of New Orleans' underground rap scene, where he honed his craft performing in talent shows and collaborating with local acts. His talent soon caught the attention of C-Murder, a fellow New Orleans native and a prominent figure in the rap game. Magic's collaborations with C-Murder, including standout tracks like "Picture Me" and "Watch Yo Enemies," showcased his raw talent and set the stage for his ascent to stardom.

In 1998, Magic made his solo debut with the release of "Sky's the Limit," an album that would catapult him into the spotlight. Bolstered by hits like "No Hope" and "9th Ward," the album peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, establishing Magic as a force to be reckoned with in the rap world. His follow-up album, "Thuggin'," further solidified his place in the pantheon of hip-hop greats, with hit singles like "That's Me" and "Ice on my Wrist" garnering widespread acclaim.

Following the lukewarm reception of his third studio album, "White Eyes," Magic parted ways with No Limit Records, setting out on his own path to pursue new opportunities.

In 2004, Magic joined forces with fellow New Orleans native Choppa and former boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. to form the group Body Head Bangerz. Their debut album, "Body Head Bangerz: Volume One," showcased Magic's versatility as an artist and spawned the hit single "I Smoke, I Drank," further solidifying his status as a rap icon.

Despite setbacks and challenges, Magic remained resilient, forging ahead with his passion for music. In 2006, he secured a deal with TVT Records but ultimately parted ways without releasing any material. Undeterred, Magic launched his own label, Banx Entertainment, in 2011, determined to carve out his own path in the industry.

Tragically, Magic's life was cut short on March 1, 2013, when he and his wife Chastity were killed in a traffic collision in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Their 12-year-old daughter was the lone survivor, left to carry on Magic's legacy and preserve his memory for future generations.

Though he may be gone, Magic's impact on the rap world endures, his music serving as a testament to his talent, resilience, and unwavering dedication to his craft. As New Orleans continues to mourn the loss of one of its own, Magic's spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of fans around the world, a timeless reminder of the power of music to transcend boundaries and unite us all.

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