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Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five

Inductee, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was an American hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978. The group's members were Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole (not to be confused with Kid Creole and Coconuts frontman Kid Creole), Keef Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem. The group's use of turntablism, breakbeat DJing, and conscious lyricism were significant in the early development of hip hop music.

In the late 1970s, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five built their reputation and achieved local success by performing at parties and live shows. By 1980, the group had signed with Sugar Hill Records. Under Sugar Hill Records, the group rose to prominence in the early 1980s with their first hit "Freedom". It was not until the release of the song "The Message" in 1982 and the album of the same name that they achieved mainstream success. The song provided a political and social commentary and went on to become a driving force behind conscious hip-hop.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five split into two separate groups, due to differences, until a brief reunion in 1987 led to the release of the original line-up's second album On the Strength. Afterwards, they disbanded permanently. Today, the group's legacy continues as Grandmaster's Furious Five with only Melle Mel and Scorpio as remaining members.

The group are widely regarded as one of the greatest groups of all time. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007; the first hip hop group to be inducted. In 2002, its first year of archival, "The Message" was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. Rolling Stone ranked "The Message" number 51 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.

Last Updated: July 12, 2020

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