Bradley Butler; popular as DJ

Bradley Butler
Bradley Butler
Posted: March 01, 2014

Bradley Butler, 44, of Camden, a popular DJ who provided music at parties in the region, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, of liver failure at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden.

The oldest of three children, he was born in Philadelphia and grew up in East Camden. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1988 and attended Camden County College.

As a young man, he held several jobs at home improvement and clothing stores, and later worked for the Camden public schools on the bookmobile. He was unable to work after his health declined in recent years.

He was known by the name "DJ Fade" and music was his passion, said sister RaMonica M. He would play at parties in neighboring states and mentored aspiring DJs, singers, and rappers, she said.

"He taught me a lot about music," said local rap artist Jamere "Kannon" Birdsong, who considered Mr. Butler a father figure. "He kept me out of a lot of trouble. He was always there for me."

As a youngster, Mr. Butler played "Cisco Kid" by War so many times that the vinyl record wore out, his sister said. He began his DJ career with two turntables and taught himself how to "scratch," a technique commonly associated with hip hop music.

"He loved music since he was a young child," his sister recalled. "He was a good guy."

His basement parties on Line Street in East Camden, where the family lived for many years, were legendary. Mr. Butler recently started teaching his DJ skills to his young nephew Jason Butler, the only person he allowed to touch his equipment.

Affectionately known as a gentle giant because of his girth, he was a dapper dresser and took pride in his appearance. He was also a great cook, making specialty dishes such as oxtails and Spanish rice, his sister said.

"Brad just loved people. He had a real big spirit and a concern for people," said his father, Rufus.

In addition to his father and sister, he is also survived by a son, Charles Watkins; daughters Katrina and Lekyha Watkins; his mother, Joan; a grandson; another sister; and longtime companion Katrina Watkins.

A viewing will be held Saturday, March 1, from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by services, at Victory Temple Community Church, 426 N. Second St., Camden. Interment will be at Sunset Memorial Park, Pennsauken.


mburney@phillynews.com

856-779-3814 @mlburney

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