Saturday, April 4, 2015

"The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Song#:  1217
Date:  10/16/1982
Debut:  84
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rap, Hip Hop

Pop Bits:  In the late 70s, this group was arguably the most popular rap outfit on the streets of New York without having recorded a single note. After the Sugarhill Gang broke through to the charts with "Rapper's Delight," they took their work to the studio and got a single released. They then signed with Sylvia Robinson on her Sugarhill label and released several more singles including the #19 R&B hit "Freedom." But their shining moment came with this title track to their album "The Message" (#4 R&B). With content that commented on social and political issues, the song's influence would be felt for decades and would help shape rap music. In 2012, Rolling Stone selected this classic as the greatest hip hop song of all time.

ReduxReview:  "Rapper's Delight" took rap to the masses, but I think most modern day rap can be traced back to this song. The format and content would influence so many other artists. There are only a handful of artists that can be considered pioneers of a whole genre and these guys were at the forefront. Like the Sugarhill Gang, they didn't last that long as a group but what they did resonated for years. I'm still not the biggest fan of the genre, but I do recognize that this was a pretty bold statement and consider it one of the best early rap hits.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Although credited to the entire group, the song was written (with Sylvia Robinson) and recorded by session musician Duke Bootee and DJ Melle Mel.  2) Members Melle Mel and The Kidd Creole were the first DJs to dub themselves MC's, which stands for "master of ceremonies."  3) They were the first hip hop group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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