Vocalo Radio

Chicago's Urban Alternative

Current track



Remembering DJ P Lee Fresh

Written by on December 9, 2021

Parker Lee Williams, AKA DJ P Lee Fresh, behind the scenes of the music video for Mental Giants’ “Cheeba Creepas.”
By Robert Benavides, April 1994.

This week we lost an incredibly talented artist, musician and entrepreneur, DJ P Lee Fresh.

To say that Parker Lee Williams, AKA “P Lee Fresh,” of the hip-hop group Mental Giants was a pioneer with major influence on Chicago’s early hip-hop scene would be a major understatement.

Via @DJ3RDRAIL on Twitter, Dec. 8, 2021, 10:19 PM CST.

DJ Parker Lee at Vocalo’s Winter Block Party, Feb. 2020. By Mercedes Zapata.

Parker was one of Chicago’s early graffiti writers and hip-hop DJs. You could catch him spinning on WNUR 89.3 FM back in the early ’80s, and his hip-hop parties at north side club Stepps were legendary. He, along with a handful of other New York transplants, was instrumental in bringing hip-hop to Chicago. Around the same time, house music and gang culture were making an impression on the city’s youth — especially in his far north side neighborhood of Rogers Park, or “the Upper North East Side,” as he would say.

Parker Lee by Åaron Cee.

For folks that may not have known of Parker Lee and are fans of our city’s vibrant hip-hop scene, he and a handful of other people are responsible for many things we take for granted. He championed the music and culture at a time when it wasn’t easy or safe to do.

DJ Parker Lee and Akbar, AKA Mental Giants for Vocalo’s Winter Block Party Feb. 2020.
By Dennis Eliot.

Here is an interview I did with him and Akbar of Mental Giants just before Vocalo’s Winter Block Party and Blue Groove Lounge 25-Year Reunion at the Metro in February 2020. We talked about the early days, moving to Chicago from New York, early graffiti crews, Chicago gangs, Jamalski, how hip-hop has changed over the years — plus the Winter Block Party and Blue Groove Reunion.

He will be missed.

DJ Parker Lee and Akbar of Mental Giants, on set of the music video for “Cheeba Creepas.”
By Robert Benavides, April 25, 1994.

Written by Jesse De La Peña

Edited by Morgan Ciocca

More from Vocalo: