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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

x

Track List: Message From Beat Street: The Best Of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five

1. Step Off Megamix

2. Freedom

3. The Birthday Party

4. Showdown

5. It's Nasty (Genius Of Love)

6. The Message

7. Scorpio

8. Message II (Survival)

9. New York New York

10. White Lines

11. Beat Street

x

Track List: The Message

1. She's Fresh

2. It's Nasty

3. Scorpio

5. Dreamin

6. You Are

7. The Message

Comments

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debiaux
Classic Hip Hop!
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Sometimes I wonder...... .
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THIS CUT 34YEAR'S OLD..
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This started gangsterism
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Grandmaster flash and the furious 5 this real hip-hop she's nasty
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Gta San Andreas throwback omg love this song
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The best story tells of hip hop...
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I love this ! I haven't heard this in a long time!! Thanks for the memories!!!
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Played this on the way to school.
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Hot Dam I sure remember this cut heyyyy use to kick that rug at the Bar on this one still sound's good today Rock Grandmaster Rock say what 4--26-2016
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You could play this anywhere
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#INNOVATORS
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Lol unpin vyuug pbolooking idckh lol lol llnllikgb.o
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RIP MC Cowboy
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lee.alex
The true hebrews
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I am the edge who is my daddy who is my momma PTSD it's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder oooooowwwwee e e
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Nice
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Dam now this is hip-hop music
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I KEEP MY HAND ON MY GUN CAUSE DEY GOT ME ON DA RUN!!!!THIS DA TRILL'EST CUT!!! IT START'ED IT ALL HIP-HIP...CO U N T R Y TUNE'S!!!!OV E R 30YEAR'S Y'ALL....
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Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge, Now this is some old school for you early monday morning
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This song was the Genesis - still so true today. "The Message"! From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles !
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Always FRESHHHHH
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Great song and message!
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Broken glass everywhere.. . . .
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It like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder...... . . . . .
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Well,, This song was what NYV was like in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, guess what,, it's back,,, NYC is in trouble !
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Makes me want to do the robot.. ❤
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Now this is "old school". Back to the early 80s, Grand Master Flash, Sugar Hill Gang, and Kurtis Blow... The best of times....
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This was the jam .
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Love the jam in the Brooklyn East N Y was the time 80 90
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Got my hand on the gun cause they got me on the run.
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the chicks dug this stuff in HS, I always had 5-10 waitin @ the car ;-)
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Kids need to listen to real music!
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The hall of fame.grandma s t e r flash a the furious five.
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Wow! Real rap! Growing up in the ghetto - second rate- don't push me because I'm close to edge- I'm trying not to lose my head- the lyrics are speaking about what's still going on today ands or call - hip hop today are rapping about pure trash - so please "DONT PUSH ME BECAUSE IM CLOSE TO THE EGDE - IM TRYING NOT TO LOSE MY EDGE"! ����������
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Now Playing: The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five on Old School Radio (Hits1 Radio Network)
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a social message more young people should hear - why would you want to go to jail?
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Old school jam.
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This brings me back to 1980 break dance in Oracle, Arizona
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tashikacormi e r
Ol school will NEVER DIE, This is Re"Nick"ulou s
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lydellwyatt9 7
Don't push me im trying not to loose my head everyday struggle peace
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Haha haha haha
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This message is still found in our society today!
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that's the s**t, sorry love it.
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i love this song.I jam to it in the hood in my low rider.
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This is one of those artists that all the dad's listen to ehh I won't say that I didn't listen to them
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What can I say about my man Grandmaster Flash and the Furious five if you wasn't back then went Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five started I'm sorry for you because you missed a good thing it's because of Grandmaster Flash doing his thing on the wheels of steel get me the Bronx like it is today the Hall of Famer open doors for many yes I am from Philly a place called Germantown if you don't know now you know because we got some DJs MC On Wheels of Steel like my boy DJ Jazzy Jeff DJ Spinbad a
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Uncle Roger 58 that s**t is still dabomb
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altetly
Nice s**t! Lol
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Good. S**t
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