Few artists can boast that they started a revolution, but since the earliest DJ scene, Flash has been leaving his stamp on the music industry. Not only is he one of the three pioneers responsible for the musical genre called hip hop, but his use of the turntables made him the first DJ to play the turntables as a musical instrument, elevating the status of the DJ to that of a virtuoso.
Flash's use of a turntable as an instrument spawned entirely new concepts including "cutting," "backspinning" and "phasing." This would become the basic vocabularyand arsenal of techniquesthat DJs continue to use to this day.
In the late '70s, Flash took his inventions to another level by recruiting emcees to rap over his music. The unity later became worldly known as "Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five." In 1982, they went platinum with The Message. Their first album, The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel, introduced hip hop to a larger listening audience than it had ever known before. Flash was the first DJ ever to produce his own album. The hits kept coming throughout the '80s and into the '90s.
Today, DJ Grandmaster Flash still tours the world, creating musically and mechanically and receiving awards for his impact on hip hop. Flash has played for audiences as large as the Super Bowl and as elite as Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
On March 12, 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were the first hip hop/rap group ever inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006 Flash won the BET "I Am A Hip Hop Icon" award.
Today, you can hear Flash mixing on the Yamaha 02R96V2 digital mixer during his weekly Sirius Satellite Radio show called "The Flash Mash Show," which airs every Saturday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET on Channel #50.
This year, Flash is finally setting his memoirs to the page, taking time to write The Message: The Grandmaster Flash Story with David Ritz, who also wrote both Marvin Gaye's and Ray Charles' memoirs. The book's publisher is Doubleday.
And, of course, Flash is still hard at work in the studio. He is set to release The Bridge on Adrenaline City Entertainment in 2008. If Flash's memoirs promise a revealing look at hip hop's past through the eyes of an icon, The Bridge will give listeners a taste of its future.
With 26-plus awards under his belt and the credit of being the first DJ to turn the turntables into a musical instrument, it's easy to see why this man is such an icon and great inspiration to many around the globe.
"As a DJ and producer in my musical career, I have had the pleasure to have been around some of the greatest engineers and walked into some of the most incredible control rooms in various recording studios. In my years, when I personally walk into a studio, I immediately look for their monitors. This gives me an idea of how serious the engineer or producer is. By far, the Yamaha NS-10 speakers have always been present. They have a sound all its own. It is the monitor that the very best engineers and producers go by. I have had my NS-10Ms for 15+ years and still I insist on the 10Ms as the final musical word before I consider a mix a wrap, especially now as I am working on my newest album, The Bridge."