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Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

DJ Grandmaster Flash and his group the Furious Five were hip-hop's greatest innovators, transcending the genre's party-music origins to explore the full scope of its lyrical and sonic horizons. Flash was born Joseph Saddler in Barbados on January 1, 1958; he began spinning records as teen growing up in the Bronx, performing live at area dances and block parties. By age 19, while attending technical school courses in electronics during the day, he was also spinning on the local disco circuit; over time, he developed a series of groundbreaking techniques including "cutting" (moving between tracks exactly on the beat), "back-spinning" (manually turning records to repeat brief snippets of sound), and "phasing" (manipulating turntable speeds) -- in short, creating the basic vocabulary which DJs continue to follow even today.

Flash did not begin collaborating with rappers until around 1977, first teaming with the legendary Kurtis Blow. He then began working with the Furious Five -- rappers Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Mr. Ness aka Scorpio (Eddie Morris), and Rahiem (Guy Williams); the group quickly became legendary throughout New York City, attracting notice not only for Flash's unrivalled skills as a DJ but also for the Five's masterful rapping, most notable for their signature trading and blending of lyrics. Despite their local popularity, they did not record until after the Sugarhill Gang's smash "Rapper's Delight" proved the existence of a market for hip-hop releases; after releasing "We Rap More Mellow" as the Younger Generation, Flash and the Five recorded "Superappin'" for the Enjoy label owned by R&B legend Bobby Robinson. They then switched to Sugar Hill, owned by Sylvia Robinson (no relation), after she promised them an opportunity to rap over a current DJ favorite, "Get Up and Dance" by Freedom (the idea had probably been originally conceived by Crash Crew for their single "High Powered Rap").

That record, 1980's "Freedom," the group's Sugar Hill debut, reached the Top 20 on national R&B charts on its way to selling over 50,000 copies; its follow-up, "Birthday Party," was also a hit. 1981's "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" was the group's first truly landmark recording, introducing Flash's "cutting" techniques to create a stunning sound collage from snippets of songs by Chic, Blondie, and Queen. Flash and the Five's next effort, 1982's "The Message," was even more revelatory -- for the first time, hip-hop became a vehicle not merely for bragging and boasting but for trenchant social commentary, with Melle Mel delivering a blistering rap detailing the grim realities of life in the ghetto. The record was a major critical hit, and it was an enormous step in solidifying rap as an important and enduring form of musical expression.

Following 1983's anti-cocaine polemic "White Lines," relations between Flash and Melle Mel turned ugly, and the rapper soon left the group, forming a new unit also dubbed the Furious Five. After a series of Grandmaster Flash solo albums including 1985's They Said It Couldn't Be Done, 1986's The Source, and 1987's Da Bop Boom Bang, he reformed the original Furious Five lineup for a charity concert at Madison Square Garden; soon after, the reconstituted group recorded a new LP, 1988's On the Strength, which earned a lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike. Another reunion followed in 1994, when Flash and the Five joined a rap package tour also including Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. A year later, Flash and Melle Mel also appeared on Duran Duran's cover of "White Lines." Except for a few compilations during the late '90s, Flash was relatively quiet until 2002, when a pair of mix albums appeared: The Official Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on Strut and Essential Mix: Classic Edition on ffrr. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Gotz to have my old school
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Never get old
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I go through a...musical mental transition when listening to old school jams like this, because those were good ol' legendary status days
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Those were the gud days,Dam sata my song, Im Old School
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It's a jungle for sure
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Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge I'm trying not to lose my head lol
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thomasgoode6 8
koooool
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Lost all her senses, she had to get a pimp she couldn't make it on her own, can't see the sugar ray fight, strike at the station, DON'T PUSH ME CLOSE TO THE EDGE I'M TRYING NOT TO LOSE MY HEAD - it's like a jungle sometimes - place you play look like a big alley way-turn stick up kid- found hung in your cell- it's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder - grandmaster flash -get in the car. Wow - love it -REAL RAP! Can some one bring back PLEASE,
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Pre check your self beats gmf&tff
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The message back my day was true listening to this cut still like that in Cities and State's today
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The Truth, let it be told
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U.N.L.V Small Business Development Center Grad 2010*
Mr.Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; Nevada Professional Jet`Ski Rental inc.™ Year2009* CEO of; Shandozia Entertainmen t Service®Year 2 0 0 4 * Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil.1987* at S.T.M.B.Chur c h Pittsburg Ca. {Owner of Nuloos inc.™} ((Paperwork Discrepancy? ) ) ~WNBA, NBA, NFL, NHL~ Universal Studios Hollywood© The Monica & Bronshae Show® & Promos! Year2000* 103.5 The Bomb™ Year2000* K.M.E.L SF© Year1988* The Kid Chris Show® Sacramento Year2001
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Some catchy s**t !
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garydye425
BIG OX Says HELL WITH THEM N**GA'Z THEY BETTER CHECK THEY SELF BEFORE THEY RIGIDI WRECK THEY SELF BIAUTCH'Z
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jamans0
Takes you back to the real dayz
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Start of it all don't know if that is a good thing or not....never thought rap would have us worshiping our leader jayzee..
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The best that ever did can't get no better than this.so,so REAL no that!!!!!!!! ! 4 - r e a l
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Old school for the old school
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Man this is the jam!
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I HURT MY KNEE DANCING TO THIS...THEY DEFECATED ON THE GAME!
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spensoid
The originata.
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Don't push me kuzz im klose to the edge!
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I know they not playin dis...
That's that shittt. . .
Ayeee...
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After the cop says " you the problem does someone say " you ain't got a p**sy man"?!?!?!??
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Yes
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Hey
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Am I the only one who likes Grandmaster Flash's song The Message in Vice City ?
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Straight classic thought u knew!!
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maleah14
I'm young and I prefer 70's 80's and 90's rap any day stop saying that I know a lot of young people who only listen told school rap I also know adults who love the horrible club rap hits of today !
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Flash g 2nite
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true legends
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Music. It life. It. Music
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This beat has been used so many times, but this best 1
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LACE UP YOUR SKATES AND GO TO THE ROLLER RINK! ALL SKATE!!
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Love me some old school rap not like this bullshit they rap about these days I beleive this kind of rapping will come back someday hope so anyway
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Young folks don't know nothing bout this!
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There creative technic, for rapping and on the wheels of Steele... I don't think anyone will stop hearing this type of old school. I'm only 38, and I love this old school, rap. I just only wished that today in hip hop, an artist or any new up coming artist will come up something close to old school rap.

Today's hip hop is no where close than the pass. That's just me!

Where's all the mixing and different beats, with the unique turn table scratching. Don't get me wrong but Dr. Dre has bomb bea
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It doesn't get much more old school than this
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marty.8230
Good old days
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This is oldschool
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Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five were the Best
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Sure I Remember Scorpio Back In My Day Can't Even Count The Times I Danced To This Cut In The Club Old School Throwback Jams Now This Was Real Old School Music
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Original music, original beats, original message from a real angle .....
Takes you back to that exact moment.
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Allll Now I sure remember cuttin up that rug in the club off of this cut old school my old school in my day alright Pandora thanks for playin this song for me !!!!!!
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kevin.murray 6 5
It was nasty!!!!!
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FLASH IS DOPE.
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zombies everywhere !!! ayeee!!!!
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Yessss I was in the bar killin this on the dance floore throwback Yessss shane dont make music like this today Grandmaster Flash another one of my favorite artist here we go again work it out Pandora !
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Hot s**t
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This is so true.White lines had me for 25yrs.It took everything from me butGOD restored it all back 2 me.Dope kills.
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