Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers" speaks about the "10,000-hour rule" that suggests "practice is the essence of genius" to master a discipline.
Local radio legend Dwayne Fischer, better known as DJ Prince Ice for WWDM (The Big DM), has been a staple in Columbia, recently celebrating 30 years and he likely surpassed the ten thousand hour rule during the Regan administration.
In my book, he may well be a genius in his craft. And more than that Prince Ice has been a fixture and a part of the fabric of Black Columbia during those three decades.
Landmarks associated with hip-hop are hard to come by, and three decades of relevance is even more challenging. I begin to ask myself: Do I remember the first time I heard Prince Ice?
I don't have an answer because he's been such a part of my life. It's like asking the first time you met your favorite cousin. It's family. They've always been around.
I remember being a 16-year-old intern at the Big DM and being met with open arms and respect (even though interning at 16, I was probably nervous and crappy at my job). And I also remember Prince Ice being the first person to play a song of mine on the radio and even allowing my rapping partner Tye and I at the time to speak on the air.
If there's one thing I've learned over the years with writing columns, it's similar to radio.
I may take for granted that my name is in the paper weekly, but if I write about someone who has never had their names mentioned in print, it becomes a monumental moment for them. That's what happened when I told my family to listen to me on the radio for the first time.
If anything, Prince Ice's most significant contribution to the arts scene in Columbia was his unwavering love for the city.
He genuinely wanted Columbia to win and gave opportunities to many. When I began doing shows as a deadlocked, hairless face young rapper, he opted to be my DJ. It may not sound like a big deal now because everyone's auntie with a controller is a DJ (and I'm one myself), but 20 years ago, the term held weight, and Ice was as popular then as he is now. For me, having him spin is like having Jay-Z throw a verse on one of my songs.
It's pretty clear who benefits the most out of that.
I hit up some close DJ friends and asked them, "What are some of your fondest memories of Prince Ice"?
Fellow Columbia based DJ Liv said, "He allowed me to do intros on his radio show several times and was the plug for me getting a gig at the DM."
"He took me on the road with him when he DJ'd to show me what a consummate DJ looks like! He had me tuned in every Friday night for Club 101," DJ Liv continued. "That dude has played a major role in my hip-hop life."
If you have never been to a party Prince Ice has rocked, then you're missing out. He would jokingly tell me he can battle anyone with the wax or digital controllers, and you would be a fool to test him on that ('cause ya know, he's well over that 10,000-hour thing).
The biggest thing about Prince Ice that I don't think many would mention in the field of local celebrity and entertainment is this: He's an incredibly faith-based man that in my decades of knowing him, I have never heard him curse (he can't say that when it comes to me).
I've never seen him without a smile or just genuinely focused on making others feel good when he sees them.
Sometimes I feel that words can fall short when acknowledging people for their work, but anyone in this city reading this not only will agree with this but probably have a story of their own.
Every DJ has a drop on the radio. During a mix, you may hear, "DJ Prince Ice! The living legend!" All my years, I've never heard anyone dispute that claim. We salute you.