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Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & 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

Comments

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I don't care what people say about this group I'll will and alwayz love their style, lyrics, most of all their music. Who's ever still here today America will love to see a reunion guys.
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hectec6940
The rest is history.
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The Message...th i s song is the whole reason why I fell in love with hip-hop. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five...ahead of the their time because this song is still relevant
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old school hip hop i ❤❤ it!!!
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The lyrics still apply to todays crisis.
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This was back when rappers had talent I can't stand it nowadays they just say the same thing over and over again too. Damn repetitious
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Kkt
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The real s**t.. hip hop now n days is dead...
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The better days of hip hop.
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Best original rap
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Thay suck
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Number one Hip Hop song ever! The Message...
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Luv them! Real talk old school hip hop!
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That's trickey
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I'm not disturb the little girl like her hair was kinda curly but you don't mess with bucket has a habit of leaving early as this is my list movies
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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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White lines
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Real rap talent not like today yelling about dope&weed woman real old school can listen to forever
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"THE MESSAGE" is still a potent rap song until this day!!!!!
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You can't beat old school
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This is the jam that keeps you rocking all night long. Love it!!!
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This is my s**t
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One word, OLD SCHOOL!!!!
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Good times
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old school rules , 4 sho
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lelliott221
It sound like Melle Mel is describing any Hood in today's America
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These guys are so good
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ITS LIKE DHATT...AND THATS DA WAY IT S!
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More than 30 years later this track is still a vivid description of what Melle Mel saw in his neighborhood
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Old school music is the best! Old school for life!
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euheuheuheue h e
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Grandmasterf l a s h
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amcgowan28
There,s no party like an old school party Big T out of DC
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kensiiii
Real Lyrics and real music for everyone!! No censorship needed...
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I
Love it is the it is is the best song I ever had

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true hiphop not thiscrap on the radio know smh
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TRU life story I have no education
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the inner city anthem !!!!!!
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The struggle Son! The streets be listening!
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Remember watching this video as a shorty in amazement
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decastellano s 3 1
The bomb!!! Old school baby
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Tell me what's better
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What happened to the rap now all they talk about is gangs weed and sex every single song and artist so far
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dexpainting
Love all or comments I'm from the old school u r rite they don't do it like this no more.bx 138st cypress ave
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My favorite rap jam from back in the day! New Yorkers know that Melle is from the city and his family are one of the nicest families you could ever meet.
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ME AND MY SISTERS USED TO LISTENED TO ALL THE OLD SCHOOL RAP THAT WAS REAL RAP MUSIC TO LISTEN TO AS A TEEN-AGERS IN THE 80S SMILE....
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thomas.randl e 1 5
They don't make it like this anymore
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This was the BOMB back in the day!
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cvtonio
this is nostalgic. oh yeah!!!!. great time!!!
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dopest till this day an always will be
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