Photo credits: Jive Records
Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter (also known as DJ Drew Carter) is one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group Whodini. Jalili Hutchins and the late John “Extacy” Fletcher were the group’s two other members.
Carter was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York on June 12, 1962. He was a locally-known turntable DJ who brought his skills to the table when Whodini formed in 1981. Whodini was one of the first hip-hop acts to gain a national fanbase for their music and make big inroads on urban radio. Other hip-hop groups such as the Fat Boys, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa, and Warp 9 were their contemporaries.
Russell Simmons, brother of Run-Joseph D.M.C.’s “Run” Simmons, was the group’s manager. In 1982, the trio signed with Jive Records, a London-based independent record company. Whodini went on to have a run of singles, largely charting on urban and R&B radio stations. Larry Smith, a bass player who also did a lot of Run-early D.M.C.’s work, did the majority of the production on their albums. Whodini was recording its self-titled LP in 1983.
The song “Haunted House of Rock” was the title of the first single. The Halloween-themed song still gets on the playlists at modern-day nightclubs. Another of the band’s hits, “Mr. Magic’s Wand,” was co-written by Thomas Dolby. Dolby was a progenitor of synthpop and electro music. Mr. Magic, a well-known radio personality, was the inspiration for the song. WBLS radio in New York employed the radio personality.
Grandmaster Dee and his comrades’ song “Magic’s Wand” has probably been sampled by other artists more tines than any of the group’s separate songs.