When tragedy strikes and a hip-hop artist dies, the sad news usually travels fast. The same is not always true with those behind the scenes soldiers in the hip-hop world: the promoters, the managers, the sound technicians etc. -- the unsung heroes working the unseen daily grind to help make it all work. Dannie "Fut" James of LA's hip-hop Impact Record Pool was such an individual. He quietly passed away from complications of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, on September 23, 2010. He was 59 years of age.
A co-founder of the influential record pool that serviced both club and radio station DJs in SoCal and sometimes beyond, James, who was also a DJ, was described by colleague General Jeff as "a pioneer in the West Coast rap game. Back when hit records were determined by 'street buzz' first [he] had a strong hand in launching the careers of both West Coast and East Coast rap artists alike."
Jeff, a longtime LA rap industry insider and community activist, noted that the most striking thing about "Fut" was that he was a giving, selfless individual, who was all about the music. "He never wanted to be in the spotlight. When I first met him, I would always see him at all the record industry functions, like the BRE conferences and the R&R conferences and befriended him there." Jeff credits him with the rise of the first wave of West Coast rap. "Once West Coast rap started taking off big, I once asked James if he had a problem with not getting the recognition that he deserved," recalled Jeff. "He replied, "I don't do this for the recognition, I do this for the music! It's not about me, it's about Impact Record Pool!"
Meanwhile Tracy Kendrick, James' business partner and co-founder of Impact Record Pool, Inc. which in these digital days operates as global database for deejays worldwide, said, "James will be deeply missed by friends and family." His memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11.00 a.m. at West Angeles Church (North Campus). Those wishing to make a donation can do so via www.impactrecordpool.com.