Rich Medina graduated from Cornell in 1992, played semi-pro basketball for a season, and then worked for two Fortune 500s before deciding to give up a six-figure job at Abbott Laboratories to pursue his dream of becoming a DJ. He quickly established himself with residencies in New York and Philly as well as a steady stream of guest appearances with the likes of Qool Marv, Prince Language, and Bobbito Garcia, beginning the musical adventure that has now taken him around the globe many times over.
In 2001, Rich began a nine-year run with his legendary party Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack at APT in New York City’s Meatpacking District. At APT, performers like Puff Daddy, Kevin Powell, Lord Sear, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Prince could be seen regularly, getting down on the dance floor with the crowd. In 2005, hip hop legend Q-Tip chose Medina to be his partner for a new Friday night weekly at Santos Party House in New York City, which played to capacity crowds for the duration of its four-year run. Rich became what many would call the ultimate DJ-in-residence, with steady established outposts in numerous cities, including Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, DC, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Amsterdam, London, and Paris.
While attending his twentieth reunion at Cornell in 2012, Rich was invited by the director of the Cornell Hip Hop Collection to become the first-ever Cornell alumnus on the advisory board. The collection consists of the largest acquisition of rare and at-risk materials and artifacts covering the beginnings of hip hop culture—the most extensive collection held by any organization in the U.S.