Under Review

Grandmaster Flash

Grandmaster Flash has still got it. Though it’s been almost 20 years since the release of his most well-known album, The Message, Grandmaster Flash is still keeping the funk and rhythm of old school hip-hop alive with his newly released album, The Bridge: Concept of a Culture. As founder of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, DJ Grandmaster Flash, a.k.a. Joseph Saddler, was a pioneer in mixing and scratching in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. He also played an important role in developing hip-hop music during this period; his influence can still be seen today in not only modern hip-hop but also rap, rock and R&B.

Grandmaster Flash recruited MC legends KRS-One, Q-Tip, and Big Daddy Kane to preach the global language of hip-hop on The Bridge, and many of the tracks comment on the nature of the genre, with “Here Comes My DJ” and “Tribute To The Breakdancer” reminding the listener of the far reaching influence of hip-hop culture. True to his style, this message is delivered through that old school vibe with multilayered beats, a funky flow and music with a message (i.e. not about money, cars and hos). “We Speak Hip Hop” brings together MCs from Senegal, Japan, Spain and Sweden to illustrate the universality of hip-hop. Incorporating conscious rhymes with ‘80s beats, Grandmaster Flash proves hip-hop’s past is still hip-hop’s present.