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Grandmaster Flash Traces Hip Hop's Roots

Jan 16, 2009 (News & Notes )

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Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are synonymous with the birth of hip hop.

Flash was the group's mastermind, and in the late 1970s, the group's performances in New York public parks and nightclubs helped give hip hop its identity.

But unknown to many, Flash was not part of the one song most associated with the group — "The Message."

He tells Farai Chideya: "That particular record was part of the catalyst of me going into my drug addiction."

He chronicles his life and career in the book, The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats.

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