Each weekday in February, Go 95.3 looks back at an important figure in black history.
Today we feature Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five the group who truly ushered songwriting into hip-hop. While the early years of hip-hop in the 70s saw the MCs as hosts whose rhymes would rock the party to the break-a break-a dawn, the first several attempts to recreate that same energy on record, while fun, didn’t attempt to utilize a more traditional conceptual narrative. That changed with Melle Mel‘s performance on “The Message,” one song about the struggles in New York City that altered the course of hip-hop forever. As outstanding as records like that and “White Lines” were, it cannot be overstated how much else the crew shaped the culture. Even the name “hip-hop” is believed to be coined by late Furious Five member Cowboy during an early party-rocking routine. The tremendous on-record routines of the Furious Five, including the aforementioned two members as well as Raheim, Scorpio and Kid Creole, can be heard on landmark classics like “Superrappin’,” “Birthday Party” and “Freedom.” Their tremendous contributions continue to be acknowledged, including becoming the first hip-hop group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.