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Cipha Sounds (born Luis Diaz on April 19, 1976 in Bronx, New York) is an American radio and television personality of Puerto Rican descent. He is mostly known for his work as a DJ, but he is also a VJ for MTV

Radio career[]

In 1996, Cipha Sounds started as an intern with Wildman Steve and DJ Riz of New York's Flip Squad, and eventually Riz asked Cipha to spin at clubs with him as an opening DJ. Later on, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself when Lil' Kim asked Cipha to go on tour with her. For a year and a half Cipha worked with Lil' Kim, the country and Europe. After he returned to the U.S., Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex asked Cipha to join his Big Dawg Pitbulls crew. Cipha became a mix show DJ on Funkmaster Flex's evening show on Hot 97, and he eventually got his own show called Cipha Saturdays at the same station. On Sirius Satellite Radio's Shade 45 channel, he hosted a show called The Cipha Sounds Effect along with Angela Yee, DJ Wonder and the Emoticon. He started the show in 2004, and his last show was on July 1, 2008. Before moving on from Shade 45, Cipha started a podcast that became the weekend morning show on Hot 97 with Peter Rosenberg. It aired every Sunday from 4am to 9am. The show was called The Cipha/Rosenberg Experience. After the shows following grew they were giving a Saturday morning slot from 6am to 10am. The show's extremely high ratings for its time slot was unheard of so hot 97 moved The Cipha/Rosenberg Experience to Mon-Fri 5am to 7am and in August took the entire daypart from 5am to 10am. It is HOT 97's new morning lineup.

Television career[]

From 2003 to 2006, Cipha was a DJ for Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show, for 19 episodes. In April 2006, he became the host of MTV's urban music video program Direct Effect which later became Sucker Free.

Music management and production[]

Cipha has his own artist management company called Jack Move, Inc. The first artists that he managed were the R&B duo Nina Sky who emerged in 2004, with the hit single "Move Ya Body". Cipha is also developing a rapper named Daytona. He has experience as an A&R executive, working for Rawkus Records, Tommy Boy Records, and The Neptunes' record label, Star Trak Entertainment. In 2005, he became the senior vice president of Jay-Z's Roc-La-Familia label, but he left after becoming a VJ for MTV in 2006. Cipha is also part of Black Jays International, a label managed by rapper Kardinal Offishall. In 2006, he teamed up with Solitair of the Black Jays, and the two became a hip-hop/R&B production duo.

Don't Get Gassed[]

In 2007, Cipha started a stand-up comedy series called Don't Get Gassed, a monthly show at Carolines on Broadway (NYC). It is billed as a Def Comedy Jam-type show, and some video clips of the series are available on YouTube.

Racist Comments[]

In December of 2010 DJ Cipha sounds made a comment saying "the reason I am HIV negative is because I don't mess with Haitian girls". The comment was deemed offensive to the Haitian community and led to his suspension.

Film appearance[]

Cipha was featured in the 2002 film 25th Hour, playing "DJ Dusk" and providing some original music.