Harlem Native, Eddie Cheba (Edward Sturgis), was one of rap’s founding fathers and was a pioneering DJ in the 1970s.
He perfected his style of call and response deejaying, complete with routines he’d perform with his Cheba Girls, and was DJ royalty. Of all the clubs that he played in, Club 971 in the Bronx was probably the greatest. It was here that he met another legend, DJ Hollywood. The two became great friends and formed a DJ partnership although that didn’t mean they deejayed together all the time. They had their preferred clubs.
As well as being a huge influence to a young promoter named Russell Rush (Russell Simmons), Hollywood and Cheba were also in the sights of Sylvia Robinson at Sugarhill Records. Apparently, Lovebug Starski was Sylvia’s first choice to record ‘Rapper’s Delight’ but when he turned her down, unbeknown to Eddie Cheba, she asked Hollywood for him and Cheba to record it. It wasn’t until after the Sugarhill Gang released it that Hollywood told Eddie about it. This wasn’t the only recording opportunity either. Eddie was J.B. Moore’s and Robert Ford’s first choice to record ‘Christmas Rapping’ before Kurtis Blow.
In 1979 though, funded by the owners of Club 371, Eddie Cheba recorded the uptempo disco rap track ‘Looking Good (Shake Your Body)’ for Tree Line Records. The track became a hit and, due to public demand, it was licensed to Peter Brown‘s Queen Constance Records for wider distribution. It is considered as an early house music influence.