Updated: Aug 1, 2019
The Unknown DJ, one of the most legendary Hip Hop and Electro Funk producers in the history of the sound, is really not quite so unknown afterall. Born Andre Pierre Manuel, The Unknown DJ pioneered the West Coast Sound of the mid 80's that influenced artists like Egyptian Lover and The World Class Wreckin' Cru.
The Unknown DJ did not release many records during his time spent as a producer in the nascent West Coast Electro scene, only putting out material on his two labels called Techno Hop, and Techno Kut (partnered w/ Grandmaster Lonzo). However, these releases would be very important to the development of the sound of Electro Funk and would also prove highly influential to the Electro Bass movement that would later emerge out of the 90's. His two labels also debuted many Hip Hop artists like Ice-T, King Tee, Jazzy D, and Professor X (Arabian Prince), who would go on to become icons in the music industry; some of them attaining major commercial success.
In 1989, during the decline of the Electro Funk movement, The Unknown DJ moved on and became very involved in the Gangsta Rap sound that was beginning to emerge in the Compton area of California. Joining the group, "Compton's Most Wanted" with DJ Slip/Terry Allen, they went on to record such hits as "It's a Compton Thang (1990), "Straight Checkn 'Em (1991), and "Music To Driveby (1992)", all which became huge commercial successes.
The Unknown DJ continued to be involved in the recording of many different rap artists throughout the 90's, as well as having many of his Electro Funk hits re-released on various compilations. Techno Hop Records made a short comeback in 2009 and released the single "This Is Electro/Mini Mois", proving to his long-time fans that Unknown DJ hadn't forgotten a sound he helped lay the foundation for long ago.
Unfortunately there have been no follow-up releases from Techno Hop since, but rumors had it that The Unknown DJ, originally from Detroit, was secretly working on a new record with legends Aux 88. Time will tell if this ever sees the light of day! ;)