It's not every day that you get the chance to witness a live performance by someone who literally invented a new instrument and was one of a handful of people responsible for an entire genre of music—especially a genre that has had the immeasurably monumental cultural impact of hip-hop. Kool Herc may have pioneered the mixing techniques that isolated drum breaks, but it was electronics whiz Grandmaster Flash who took it a step further, envisioning the turntables as a musical instrument. He invented many DJ techniques still used today, including cutting, which led directly to scratching.
Last year, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the group behind way-old-school hip-hop hits like "Superrappin'," "The Message" and "White Lines," became the first rap act inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, making Flash the first (and so far, only) DJ to receive the honor.
These days, Flash is promoting his memoir, The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats (and some piece of digital DJ equipment, which makes about as much sense as Babe Ruth hawking aluminum bats), but that's no reason not to come witness a true innovator on the wheels of steel.
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