Born Jerome Hewlett, Cash Money came of age in the same early-'80s suburban hip hop scene that produced Jazzy Jeff and Will "Don't Call Me Fresh Prince" Smith. (Money was such a rube that he showed up to his first New York gig wearing an Izod sweater.) He began his career as a member of the Franchise Dancers, a junior high crew that performed a routine called "stepping," which he describes as "Fred Astaire-type stuff." The group's DJ, Grand Wizard Rasheed, showed the young Money basic blending and cutting techniques, and soon he was playing his own parties. But even after developing his own trick -- the "transformer scratch," a herky-jerky effect created by rapidly wiggling the cross-fader -- and winning the DMC's World DJ Championship in the late '80s, Money was often overshadowed in Philly by Jazzy Jeff. Though Money grumbles that he taught Jeff many of his chops -- including the latter's patented scratch technique, which Jeff recorded on the flip side of the corny hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand" -- there is no bad blood between the two.
Today, as the first inductee into the DJ Hall of Fame, Cash Money travels the globe, judging turntablist competitions and making the occasional party appearance. No doubt the World's Greatest DJ -- a title that's been thrown his way on a few occasions -- will have some love to share with the city that cherishes the DJ more than any other.