Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
are one of the pioneers of HipHop
. They introduced many innovations that are still a cornerstone of the genre today. Grandmaster Flash was a skilful DJ and turntable expert, who introduced the backspin technique, punch phrasing and perfected scratching. Band member Cowboy was the first to use the word hip hop
, while Melle Mel was the first rapper to call himself MC
(Master of Ceremony).
They are best known for their three hit singles The Message
, The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel
and White Lines (Don't Do It)
and are seen as the progenitors of Conscious Hip Hop
and Political Rap
. While many other hip hop acts were basically clowning around Grandmaster Flash and his band used their skills to provide socially conscious messages about the hardships of modern life.
Despite being huge during the early 1980s the band faded away halfway the decade. Grandmaster claimed his label didn't pay their royalties and tensions in the band caused a split. Grandmaster Flash, Kid Creole and Rahiem continued as Grandmaster Flash
, while Melle Mel, Cowboy and Scorpio went on as Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
. They briefly reunited in 1987 for a charity concert. Band member Cowboy died of a cocaine overdose in 1989. A definitive reunion came about in 1994, but they never managed to return to the charts again. Their musical contributions haven't been forgotten, though. In 2002 they became the first rap act to have one of their songs, The Message
inducted in the National Recording Registry
and in 2007 they were the first hip hop artists to be honored into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Albums by the band that have their own page:
Tropes On The Wheels Of Steel: