Rolling Out

Legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash accused of being the ‘Milli Vanilli of hip-hop’ by bandmate

Source: Sugar Hill Records
Source: Sugar Hill Records

Say it ain’t so!

Could legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash really be “the Milli Vanilli of hip-hop” as accused by Furious Five group member, Scorpio?

In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first rap group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the strength of classic records such as the anti-drug anthem “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” and the timeless masterpiece, “The Message,” which is often credited as the first conscious hip-hop song and one of the most influential in the genre’s history.

But according to Scorpio, Flash takes all the credit for those records and isn’t on a single one of them. He tells “From ‘Supper Rappin’ to ‘Freedom’ to ‘It’s Nasty’ to ‘Beat Street’ … To every record we ever made. ‘The Message’ was the most critically acclaimed record but it’s been everything. He’s not on any of them, that’s why we came with the Milli Vanilli thing.”

Scorpio goes on to say that Flash had the foresight to take advantage of having his name precede the rest of the group and it causes them to miss potential gigs. He then gives an example of how the group being honored by VH1 almost led to Flash being exposed: “At the end of the day by having that name that we all helped build, it gives him a clear path to all of the money without cutting in or bringing in fellas along who actually helped build the name. He claims that he wants his own legacy, and even though he’s out doing DJ gigs, it’s off of the name Grand Master Flash. … When we got the VH1 honor they wanted us for the show. So they call Flash. It took me, Melle Mel, and Mickey Bentson to get in the car, go to VH1 and say ‘listen we are being honored if he doesn’t want to perform we need to perform.’ We were going to perform all of our classics. When he finds out we’re going to perform we get a call three days later like, ‘great news guys, he said he’s going to perform.’ He was going to get exposed then, because we were going to do all the records and they were going to sound exactly the same without him being there.”

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released two albums, including 1982’s The Message and 1988’s On the Strength before disbanding for good in 1989.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out