Cold Chillin' Records Co-Founder Fly Ty To Be Honored By His Alma Mater Howard University

Cold Chillin' Records Co-Founder Fly Ty To Be Honored By His Alma Mater Howard University

Published Fri, October 20, 2023 at 11:20 AM EDT

Cold Chillin' Records and Mr. Magic's Rap Attack co-founder Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams is being honored this weekend (10/21) by his Alma Mater, Howard University. Ty made history and helped rap music become the powerhouse that it became in the mid 80's as co-creator of Mr. Magic's Rap Attack.

The show, which aired on New York's WBLS, became a breeding ground for record company A&R personnel, as Magic and Tyrone would broadcast music from unsigned artists, prompting listeners to visit record stores looking for music that wasn't commercially available. Tapes of The Rap Attack show traveled around the country and later the world, creating a cult following.

Fly Ty shared his early radio history with Rock The Bells, and explained the birth of Mr. Magic's Rap Attack. "I remember when he first told me that he was going on the radio," he recounts. "He asked me to produce his show and by sheer coincidence, we got hired at WBLS the same week. If you didn't have an FCC license you could work under an engineer's license, but again the engineers thought that rap was ignorant and they saw Magic the same way. Magic was able to work on the radio under my license. I became the producer and engineer for Mr. Magic's Rap Attack."

After managing artists and producing records released by Roxanne Shantè, Biz Markie and Craig G on Philadelphia's Pop Art Records, Tyrone, Mr. Magic, and Marley Marl decided to form their own label. After forming the short-lived Bridge Records in conjunction with Pop Art and releasing MC Shan's groundbreaking single, "The Bridge"/"Beat Biter," Ty and company formed Cold Chillin' Records and eventually entered into a distribution deal with Warner Brothers, releasing music by MC Shan, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Marley Marl, Roxanne Shanté and a pre-Wu-Tang Genius.

Fly Ty, who earned his degree from Washington D.C.'s Howard University, will be honored at the Bison Awards Dinner & Royal Blue Gala during the University's homecoming weekend.

"I am truly honored by the recognition and honor that my school, Howard University, has bestowed upon me. Truly grateful," Ty says of the upcoming ceremony.

He will be honored along with Oscar nominated movie producer Charles D. King, actor and director Amin Joseph, former Biden-Harris SBA political appointee Natalie Cofield, CEO of NFL Players Association Teri Smith and other esteemed honorees.  

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