Hip Hop Wiki
Grand Wizzard Theodore
Grand Wizzard Theodore.jpeg

Birth name

Theodore Livingston


March 5, 1963 (1963-03-05) (age 59)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.



Associated acts

Grandwizard Theodore & the Fantastic Five

Theodore Livingston (born March 5, 1963), better known by his stage name Grand Wizzard Theodore, is an American hip hop DJ. He is widely credited as the inventor of scratching. In addition to scratching, he achieved renown for his mastery of needle drops and other techniques which he invented or perfected.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Theodore's brother, Mean Gene, was his mentor and began to teach him the technique of DJing during his childhood years. Theodore also apprenticed under Grandmaster Flash.

Though variants of the story exist, it is generally accepted that scratching was created by Grand Wizzard Theodore by accident. He was playing records loudly in his bedroom, and his mother entered his room and ordered him to turn the music down. While his mother lectured him, he continued slowly moving the record back and forth so as to not lose the place on the record he was up to, which produced a sound of its own. When she left the room, he was intrigued by the sound the vinyl record made when manipulated in this fashion. After months of experimentation, he introduced this technique at a party and thus the scratch was born.

In the early 1980s, Theodore was a part of the group Grandwizard Theodore & the Fantastic Five. He also appeared in the 1983 film Wild Style, as well as contributed to the film's soundtrack. Theodore makes an appearance in the 2001 hip hop DJ documentary Scratch explaining how he created the scratch.