Grandmaster Flash

Grandmaster Flash, one of hip-hop's founding fathers and the creator of the Quick Mix, was the first person to change the arrangements of songs by using duplicate copies of records and manually editing/repeating the climatic part (later called the "break") by rubbing the record back and forth. This became known as "cutting", which was later called "scratching". His deejaying style caught fire in The Bronx (and the world) and helped to propel DJs such as Funkmaster Flex, Grand Wizard Theodore, Kid Capri, DJ Scribble, Jazzy Jeff, Jam Master Jay, Q Bert, the Scratch Pickles, Cash Money, and many others, to stardom. Flash was the first to debut trick deejaying skills like mixing records behind his back or beneath tables, kicking mixing faders with his feet, and the like. In the late 1980s, he was also the first DJ to develop and market his own DJ device, called the Flashformer. His group, The Furious Five, was a premier group toward the mid-1970s, known for their choreography, studded leather stage wear, and fierce rapping skills. Group member Cowboy was the first MC for Flash, who pioneered phrases like "Throw your hands in the air, and wave 'em like ya just don't care!," Clap your hands to the beat!," and "Everybody say, ho!," which have become staple in rap and hip-hop culture. Flash's 1981 single, "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" was their first record to demonstrate hip-hop deejaying skills and the group's 1982 hit "The Message" was the first serious rap record. As one of hip-hops pioneer DJs, Flash is responsible for introducing some of the following break records: "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" by Bob James, "I Can't Stop" by John Davis and the Monster Orchestra, and "Disco Flight 78", and a host of other records. Flash grew up in the South Bronx with a wide appreciation of music. He would sneak and raid his father's record collection and listen to records by Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Stan Kenton. He would also raid his older sister's collection and listen to Michael Jackson, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, James Brown, Joe Corba, Sly and the Family Stone, and many others. Grandmaster Flash was fascinated with electronics, and his mother eventually sent him to Samuel Gompers Vocational High School to pursue his interest.


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