Long before bling began its domination of hip-hop, long before there was a record label that shared his name, you could bank on DJ Cash Money's turntable skills. Inducted into the DMC-Technics Hall of Fame in 1998 as "The World's Greatest DJ," the Philly pioneer has outlasted most of his old-school contemporaries, building a legacy that stretches back to the mid-'80s. He recorded for the legendary label Sleeping Bag, joined hippie rappers P.M. Dawn during their early '90s reign at the top of the charts, and has worked alongside a roster of hip-hop giants.
The calling card of the former Jerome Hewlett is the "transformerscratch," which uses a mixer's crossfader to achieve futuristic sounds that first reminded him of the Transformers cartoon. Innovations like that one reportedly got Cash banned from the DMC DJ championships, to give other spinners a fighting chance. Now he only judges competitions, but he keeps a hand in the scene by playing the occasional party -- where, in the grand old tradition, he occasionally rocks the mic as well as the decks.