Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - 1988
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were a hip-hop group that originated in the South Bronx in 1978. The group was comprised of DJ Grandmaster Flash and five rappers, which included Melle Mel, Kidd Creole, Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem. Their elaborate stage shows, incorporating turntablism, break-beat deejaying and choreography, contributed to the early inception of hip-hop music in mainstream culture. The group took off into popularity with their first single, “Freedom,” in 1980 through Sugarhill Records. In 1981 they released “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” a multi-deck live recording, which was the first time scratching and turnablism was recorded on a record. Their debut album, The Message, dropped in 1982 and featured the singles, “It’s Nasty,” “Scorpio” and the title track. This album remains as one of the most well-respected collections in the history of hip-hop music. The next year the group sued Sugar Hill Records for $5 million in unpaid royalties. This lawsuit eventually resulted in the group parting ways with Melle Mel leaving followed by Cowboy and Mr. Ness/Scorpio. During this time Melle Mel released his own album Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five while the remaining members of the original group added three new members and operated under the name Grandmaster Flash. In 1987 the original lineup reunited and released their second studio album, On The Strength, in 1988. This album was not as well received as the first album, which led to the group disbanding, although on occasion members from the group have gotten together to collaborate over the years.