Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Joseph 'Grandmaster Flash' Saddler
Melvin 'Melle Mel' Glover
Nathaniel 'The Kidd Creole' Glover Jr.
Guy Todd 'Rahiem' Williams
Robert 'Keef Cowboy' Keith
Eddie 'Mr. Ness / Scorpio' Morris
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the first rap group inducted into the Rock Hall, elevated hip-hop from party music to a weapon for social change.
Put simply, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were innovators. Sonically, their new techniques and equipment expanded the sound of hip-hop. Lyrically, their masterpiece “The Message” exposed the dirty underside of a landscape known for partying—and no one saw it coming.
Jaz-Z Inducts Grandmaster Flash and the Furious FiveJaz-Z Inducts Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five at the 2007 Rock & Roll Hal of Fame Induction Ceremony
Jaz-Z Inducts Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five00:02:39
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Acceptance Speech00:05:28
"White Lines (Don't Do It)"00:01:37
Hall of Fame Essay
“I was first,”Grandmaster Flash said in 2002. “I don’t care who's better, who’s worse, contribution is first. Because first is forever.”
The Sugarhill Gang may have released the first rap|single with “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 may have been the first hip-hop artist to sign a major-label record deal. But Flash’s contention is correct: On any number of counts, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five were innovators who drove the birth of hip-hop on the streets and later in the clubs of New York City’s South Bronx in the 1970s.
During the early eighties, they etched the basic elements of the new musical style into the grooves of such elemental and influential tracks as “Freedom,” “The Birthday Party,” “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” “It’s Nasty (Genius of Loves (Don’t Do It).”
What Les Paul and Chuck Berry did for the electric guitar, Flash did for the turntable.
Photography: Getty/WireImage; Janet Macoska
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