Raised in Harlem, attending school in the same neighborhood of the iconic Rucker Park, his 1st love was basketball. Due to his natural reddish hair & “alert” sense when playing defense, he was given the nickname “Red Alert”. After graduating DeWitt Clinton high school in the Bronx, he began attending Thursday/Friday night parties in downtown NYC. Influenced by seeing the likes of DJ pioneers like Grandmaster Flowers, The Together Brothers, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, & Afrika Bambaataa; Red Alert began assembling his own record collection & equipment. Athletically, a top-ranked hoops prospect, he earned a full scholarship to play at Hampton University in 1976. After 3 semesters, Red Alert quit school & returned to Harlem, now as a full-time DJ working for Afrika Bambaataa. During the late 1970s, when cassette tapes gained popularity, DJ Red Alert was the 1st DJ to record full mix compilations of non-live performances, in which he dubbed the name “Mixtapes”. Traveling to venues throughout NYC, Long Island, Jersey, Connecticutt, & Philly - during the early 1980s, both Bambaataa & Red Alert became weekly guests at the legendary NY nightclubs – Danceteria, Negril, & The Roxy. In 1982, While spinning at the Roxy, Red Alert met Barry Mayo, KISS 98.7’s Program Director, who gave him a job to inaugurate the station’s “Master Mix Party” showcase. The Universal Zulu Nation selected Red Alert as their 1st official DJ at this time, and he’d later be named a member of the Rock Steady Crew. KISS 98.7 hired 1 other DJ & fellow friend of Red Alert’s, Chuck Chillout - and for 11 years straight the duo ran the Master Mix Party, introducing the radio airwaves to new Hip-Hop music weekly from 1983-1994. The 1994 corporate sale of KISS-FM caused it’s rebranding to a R&B/Classic Soul-only format - so Kool DJ Red Alert joined budding hip-hop station Hot 97. He would historically hold down the same 2 DJ timeslots for the next 7 years. Concerned with the station’s new direction, he made the move over to Power 105.1FM where he DJed for a 5-year stint. In 2006, KISS-98.7 FM was rebranded back to include hip-hop again, and he was hired – where he’d finish out his radio career until his final mix on April 29th, 2012; when the station was sold again & converted to a sports-talk ESPN Radio NY station.
In 1986 Red Alert played a vital role in The Bridge Wars; being the 1st DJ nationally to break “South Bronx” by Boogie Down Productions. In the late 1980s, he established his own small management & promotional company Red Alert Production. He was instrumental in first breaking & promoting acts like Boogie Down Productions, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, & Jazzy B. His company later discovered & began managing Monie Love, Black Sheep, Chi-Ali, & his nephew Mike Gee’s group The Jungle Brothers. Red Alert was also integral in helping increase exposure getting Funkmaster Flex onto radio, even hiring him as his regular fill-in while at KISS-FM. He’s received many awards – including the 1st lifetime achievement recipient during VH1's annual Hip Hop Honors; his own star on the Bronx Walk of Fame 2003; is the only DJ enshrined within the radio section at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio; & was previously appointed an honorary Music Ambassador seat by the U.N.