Tony Alvarez, also known as DJ Tony A. The Wizard (TT Wizard"), is best known for creating
The Roadium Mixtapes with Dr. Dre and Steve Yano at the Roadium Swap Meet in Gardena, California as well as being the Producer & DJ for the rap group Hi-C Featuring Tony A. on the album titled Skanless.
Tony A. has worked with many artists in the film and music industries including The Hughes Brothers, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, DJ Quik, Young MC, Tone Loc, JJ Fad, Sir Jinx (Lench Mob), Hi-C, 2nd II None, AMG,
B-Real (Cypress Hill), Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Mellow Man Ace, Teena Marie, Krazy Dee (N.W.A.), Lawless, Lil Rob, Kid Frost, Foesum, Slow Pain (G'Fellas), Nino Brown (G'Fellas), Dazzie Dee and more.
Tony A. and Hi-C were the first rap group signed to Disney / Hollywood Records.
At the age of 11, Tony first experienced what a DJ was when he went with his Brother Mario Alvarez to
Noah's Ark (also known as Infinity and Grand Central Station) night club in the east side Long Beach.
From that day forward he wanted to become a DJ. Shortly after he began working for Steve and Susan Yano at the Vermont Swap Meet in Gardena, California selling vinyl records and cassettes. He started DJ'ing at his Junior High School noon dances and then went on to DJ house parties, birthday parties, quinceañera’s etc.
In 1988, Tony A. won 1st place at Battle of The DJ's at Samerika Hall in Carson, California. In 1987, Tony A. was featured on his first vinyl record single titled "You Better Think" by rapper Dazzie Dee, Produced by Sir Jinx on Thin-Lyne Records, the record label of the World Famous VIP in Long Beach, California.
Steve Yano was a Japanese American man from Whittier, California. He was a vendor at both the Vermont and Roadium Swap Meets located in Gardena, California in the '80s and '90s. He and his wife Susan Yano sold vinyl records, cassette tapes (mixtapes) and airbrushed t-shirts. Steve Yano employed Tony A., Artie T, Paulie and Carlos Luque (Cee One) to work for him.
The Roadium - Home Of The West Coast Mixtape
In the early '80s, Steve Yano employed Dr. Dre of the World Class Wreckin' Cru to create mixtapes for him to sell at his booth at the Roadium Swap Meet. Dr. Dre created the mixes and some of the rappers featured on them were MC Ren, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Krazy Dee (N.W.A.), Sir Jinx, Dazzie Dee and more. In 1987, while Dr. Dre was producing various artists on Ruthless Records, he asked Tony A. if he wanted to take over doing the mixtapes for Steve. Soon after, Tony A. began creating the mixtapes. His first mixtape that was released was titled "Breakdown". In 1991, Tony A. released his final mixtape titled "Bullshit" which featured Hi-C, DJ Quik,
2nd II None and AMG. During his mixtape career, he created over 30+ mixtapes.
Hi-C Featuring Tony A.
In 1989, Tony A. created and produced his very first song titled "I'm Not Your Puppet" on the mixtape titled "Hi-C" which featured the Compton, California Rapper Hi-C, who also worked at the Roadium Swap Meet.
After the success of the "Hi-C" mixtape, Tony A. created and produced "Sitting In The Park" on the mixtape titled "Skanlist" which also featured Hi-C. These mixtapes created such a buzz that in 1990 Steve Yano was approached by a Disney (Hollywood Records) Music Executive that was interested in signing the duo.
After being signed, Steve Yano established his own record label called "Skanless Records".
They began recording their debut album titled "Hi-C Featuring Tony A." at Audio Achievements in
Torrance, California (famous for being the recording studio of many Ruthless Records Recording Artists).
There they recorded half of their album and eventually finished recording it at Skanless Studios located in
Alhambra, California. This album was released December 10, 1991. The album peaked at number 152 on the Billboard 200, at number 53 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums, at number 3 on the Heatseekers Albums for 24 weeks. In 1993, Tony A. produced half of the Hi-C album titled "Swing'n".
The Roadium Mixtape Documixery
In May of 2017, Tony A. along with John Elkins (JE Visual Studios), Daniel "DG" Jones (DG Media Clips) and
Carey Fujita (South Bay Drones) started production of The Roadium Mixtape Documixery in Memory of
Steve Yano. Production was completed in December 2018. The Roadium Mixtape Documixery is set to release in 2019. The Roadium Mixtape Documixery is a docu-series that focuses on the history of Steve Yano, Dr. Dre,
Tony A. and The Roadium Mixtapes. The cast of The Roadium Mixtape Documixery includes Tony A., Warren G, Mister Cartoon, Violet Brown, 2nd II None, AMG, Hi-C, DJ Speed (N.W.A.), Sir Jinx, Kelvin Anderson (VIP Records), Ernie G (Proper Dos/Skanless Records), Big Citric (Brown Town Looters/George Lopez Show), DJ Jam,
Alonso "Lonzo" Williams (World Class Wreckin' Cru), Cli-N-Tel (World Class Wreckin' Cru), Kid Frost,
Mellow Man Ace, DJ Rhettmatic (The World Famous Beat Junkies), Break Beat Lou (Ultimate Breaks & Beats),
DJ Thoro, DJ Money B, Greedy Greg, Arabian Prince (N.W.A.) and more!
Tony A. is currently focused on Directing Films (Tony Vision). Although he is still DJ'ing and Producing music.
He established Tony Vision in 2019 and has plans to Direct a lot more projects in the future. STAY TUNED.