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The 45 King

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Biography

DJ Mark The 45 King (b. Mark James), a.k.a. The 45 King, started DJing in New Jersey in the mid-80s. The nickname “the 45 King” comes from his ability to make beats using obscure 45 rpm records.

The 45 King first gained fame with his breakbeat track “The 900 Number” in 1987. The song featured a looping tenor sax solo from Marva Whitney’s “Unwind Yourself”. The 45 King was signed to Tuff City Records that year and given a production deal. The “900 Number’ remains his signature work having been resampled by many artists he was also featured on “1989-Hustlers Convention” album on the UK label Music Of Life considered by many to be rap’s first ever live album.

The 45 King also remixed and produced a number of hip hop artists from the late 80’s through the early 90’s such as Lakim Shabazz, Diamond D, Apache, MC Lyte, Maestro Fresh Wes, Eric B. & Rakim, X-Clan, Salt-N-Pepa, Gang Starr and many more.

In the early 90’s a drug addiction took its toll on the 45 King’s career causing him to lose a production contract with Time Warner. Around this time the 45 King released multiple series of breakbeat records (The Lost Breakbeat series, the Breakapalooza series, etc.) and a few tracks for other rappers, but stayed mainly with his breakbeat record franchises.

Using his popularity from the previous release, the 45 King was able to help the other members of his crew, dubbed The Flavor Unit.

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