Grandmaster Flash

Grandmaster Flash Biography

Born: January 1, 1958, Barbados, West Indies



DJ / Producer of Barbadian origin, he moved with his family to New York City in the early 1960s. Flash was influenced by the block parties and their DJs in his Bronx neighborhood. He took DJ Kool Herc's "merry go round" technique (which consisted of taking the break off of a record and looping it) and then added Grand Wizard Theodore's scratch technique and merged both styles into each other. This was later referred to as 'cutting the break'. Flash took his new style to the block parties in the mid 70s and after early failures he added several MCs to hype the crowd. These early rappers included Melle Mel, Cowboy, Scorpio (Mr. Ness), Rahiem and Melle Mel's brother Kid Creole - eventually settling on the name Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Acknowledged as a defining moment in hip hop history this combination has paved the way for whole generations of hip hop heads, MCs, rappers and DJs worldwide ever since.



After the breakup of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Flash recorded a trio of albums for the Elektra label before reuniting with The Furious Five for the 1988 album 'On The Strength'.



After struggling with and overcoming drug addiction, Flash returned to the music scene with three DJ Mix albums, a weekly radio show and TV spots. An album for the Malboro label in Germany was released in 1998 ('Flash Is Back') and in 2009, a new studio album entitled 'The Bridge. Concept Of A Culture' was released worldwide. According to Flash, "The album title represents all the bridges I've crossed worldwide. The bridges of time, cultures and color, the bridges of hip hop, funk, pop, rock, jazz, punk, disco and R&B."



In 2007 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five became the first hip hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.


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