Born in New York City, Charlie Chase was raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn, until the age of 12. Then he moved to the Bronx, where he became a musician and true Hip Hop pioneer during the early years of the movement in 1975. Chase was the first Latino DJ to officially emerge and establish Latinos as a force in Hip Hop.
Despite a lot of negative criticism in the beginning from African-Americans and Hispanics for being a Puerto Rican DJ playing Hip Hop music, Chase played in the streets, parks, clubs and schools of New York City with other pioneers such as Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash and many others. He became a force to be reckoned with, entertaining the masses and representing Latinos everywhere by playing Hip Hop, Salsa, R&B, House, Disco and Rock. Playing everything was how he gained respect as a DJ and stayed focused on his music. In 1978 Chase co-founded the World Famous Cold Crush Brothers. Which recruited Grandmaster Caz, Hut Maker JDL, Almighty KG and Easy AD, becoming and continuing to be one of the primary influences emulated by many DJs, MCs and rappers in Hip Hop.
In 1981 Chase got his first movie role playing himself in the first Hip Hop movie ever made. In the cult hit ‘Wild Style’ Chase had a small speaking part and performed with his group the Cold Crush Brothers. His role in this movie was the break he needed to take his talent all over the world. He became the first Latino Dj to take Hip Hop world wide by rocking countries like Japan, Germany, Italy, England, Switzerland, China and many other countries—playing in some of the most famous clubs and arenas like The Roxy, Studio 54, Roseland, Madison Square Garden and more. In 1982 Charlie and The Cold Crush Bros. were the first Hip Hop group signed to CBS records.
In 1984 Charlie took a job at Apexton Records pressing plant in Queens N.Y. so he can learn the vinyl pressing process. In 1985 he decided to switch gears and took an A&R position with a Latin Freestyle recording company, PKO records. While there he discovered a group called Amorreto. The group had a song titled “Clave Rocks” which featured Tito Puente, Sergio George and Luis Perico Ortiz. The record was a huge success and also helped to launch PKO as a contender amongst other successful Latin Freestyle Labels.
He also brought a male group to the label called Trilogy.
Charlie personally handled the group by writing the music to a song the lead singer had written called “Latin Love” and was
able to pool the talents of Todd Terry, Doug Wimbush, Skip
McDonald and the Latin Rascals.
The record was a monster in the Latin Freestyle community
gaining the group Radio play and numerous TV appearances.
In 1988 he worked for a Booking Agency called Dinosaur
Productions booking Hip Hop, Latin Freestyle and House
Music artist in the U.S and abroad.
In 1990 Charlie was employed by Sleeping Bag records as a
manager for their Koala Editing studuios. There he edited
many of Sleeping Bag projects and also worked along some of the worlds masters at editing.
In 1996 he formed Heavy Rotation Promotions with Al Pizarro in the Bronx where he promoted many Hip Hop and R&B
artists on radio throughout the U.S.
In 2003 Chase was inducted into the Technics, DMC DJ Hall
Of Fame, joining the ranks of Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jay,
Jazzy Jeff, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmixer DXT, Jam
Master Jay, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Red Alert, DJ Premier,
Mixmaster Ice, Grandmaster Caz and more.
In 2004 Charlie was asked by the New York Post to partake in a photo shoot with what they called “The 100 most influential
Puerto Ricans of Our Time”.
The photograph was called “A Great Day In Spanish Harlem”. There Charlie photographed with Actors, Singers, Musicians,
Journalists, Supreme Court Judges, community activists and
Hip Hop Artists such as Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Smitts, Rosie
Perez, Fat Joe, Chita Rivera, Lisa Lisa and many many more.
In 2008 Charlie performed in Bogota Colombia, South America with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and also spoke and
conducted a DJ clinic for his fans in the community.
Charlie is currently a consultant on a Hip Hop movie that
begins shooting in April 2019, which will be directed by Travis Gutierrez Senger, an award winner at the Tribeca and Seattle
International Film Festivals.
Charlie on occasions has spoken at NYU, Hunter College and
The City College of New York and many New York City &
Florida High Schools and Intermediate schools.
In 2018 Charlie and The Cold Crush Brothers were inducted into the Smithsonian’s African American History Museum in Washington D.C. and in 2021 will personally be inducted into the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Legends Exhibit further solidifying his place in Hip Hop History and preserving his legacy.
His Images, Video
and some of the equipment he used to play with early on in his career are on display there.
This year Charlie celebrates his 46th year in Hip Hop and has performed with some of the greatest Dj’s, Emcee’s, Musicians and Vocalists to ever grace an instrument or a microphone and isn’t showing signs of slowing down yet. Charlie’s new project is a Rock, Hip-Hop, B-Boy music Band which he recruited Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush), from “Living Colour” Bass Player Doug Wimbish and Drummer Will Calhoun to form the Band “Full Audio Clip” which are currently working on their new album.
Chase continues to influence, inspire and entertain his fans all over the world and has become a true Hip Hop icon.