There are few nightclub DJs that have accomplished as much on a global scale as Rich Medina. From his humble beginnings as a young b-boy-turned-DJ in Lakewood, NJ, to his current status manning the decks as one of the most popular DJs in Philadelphia NYC, Rich Medina has consistently taken multi-ethnic crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another, for almost 20 years.
Rich Medina cemented his name in the DJ world with his infamous 90’s partnership with Cosmo Baker at The Remedy in Philadelphia. In 1998, his Fun party with DJ Language was part of turning the Lower East Side of Manhattan into the new hot spot for club life. Then came the mother lode, Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack, a weekly dance function that started out as a 20-person party at APT in 2001, and evolved into an irreplaceable mid-week NYC institution for over 8 years. There, he connected with fan and hip-hop legend Q-Tip in 2005, eventually combining forces to create the Friday night weekly called Open at the Andrew W.K.-owned Santos Party House in 2007, and was soon considered the hottest Friday night party in NYC for the next 2 years.
Rich introduced a new generation of people to Afrobeat music in 2001, with Jump N’ Funk, the first and most consistent US dance party dedicated to the late African musical icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Rich and the Jump N’ Funk brand recently traveled to San Francisco, LA, and Atlanta headlining Knitting Factory Records’ Felabrations!, a nationwide series of events promoting the re-release of The Fela Kuti EMI Catalog.
No less revered is Rich’s Happy Feet party—where he and another pioneer of the turntables, Nuyorican DJ Bobbito Garcia have traded off dance, salsa, and soul music at clubs all around the world. Next of his branded events in line would be Props, the continuation of Li’l Ricky’s since the closing of APT in March of 2010. In 2008, he also co-founded What The Funke, a James Brown/Fela Kuti tribute party with DJ Spinna.
In addition to his own events, Rich has performed in front of crowds of thousands, DJing shows with artists like Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Nathan Haines, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott-Heron, The Roots, Jill Scott, Antibalas, Zap Mama, and Femi Kuti, among many others. From NYC to LA to London to Tokyo, and everywhere in between, music lovers know not to miss a club night when Rich Medina is manning the decks.
In the summer of 2010, Rich was selected to be one of seven DJ’s to compete on the first ever reality DJ competition, “Smirnoff’s Master of the Mix”, airing on BET and Centric starting November, 2010. Never one to rest on his laurels, Rich is gearing up for the biggest year yet in 2011!