Renowned music publication Rolling Stone has named Grandmaster Flash‘s iconic “The Message” anthem as hip-hop’s greatest song ever followed by a slew of notable classics.
Rolling Stone made its declaration early Wednesday (December 5) and cited the song’s focus on inner-city life for motivating the decision.
The 1982 hit “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was named the greatest hip hop song of all time on Wednesday, in the first such list by Rolling Stone magazine to celebrate the young but influential music genre. “The Message,” which tops a list of 50 influential hip hop songs, was the first track “to tell, with hip hop’s rhythmic and vocal force, the truth about modern inner-city life in America,” Rolling Stone said. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, a hip hop collective from the south Bronx in New York, was formed in 1978 and became one of the pioneers of the hip hop genre. The full list spanned songs ranging from Sugarhill Gang‘s 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight,” which came in at No. 2, to Kanye West‘s 2004 hit “Jesus Walks,” which landed at No. 32. (Toronto Sun)
One of the publication’s editors provided some context behind the staff’s choice.
“It’s a list that would have been a lot harder to do ten or 15 years ago because hip hop is so young,” Nathan Brackett, deputy managing editor of Rolling Stone, told Reuters. “We’ve reached the point now where hip hop acts are getting into the (Rock and Roll) Hall Of Fame… it just felt like the right time to give this the real Rolling Stone treatment.” (Reuters)
Last fall, rap stars Rick Ross, Lupe Fiasco and others linked up to perform “The Message” at the “Grammy Nominations” live concert.
On November 30, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross and LL Cool J will join Furious Five members Melle Mel and Scorpio for a special performance of “The Message” during “The Grammy Nominations Concert,” airing live on CBS. The one-hour show, will reveal the nominations for the 54th annual Grammy Awards which will take place on February 12, 2012 in Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. LL Cool J will host the awards and Lady Gaga, Ludacris, Rihanna, Sugarland and Usher have already been announced as performers while Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry will be on deck as award presenters. (MTV)
Since its 1980’s release, “The Message” is widely considered a hip-hop classic.
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five merged the Afrocentric consciousness expressed by such early rappers as Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets with b-boy production to create “The Message,” an all-time rap anthem. It was the focal point of this LP, which also included “It’s Nasty” and “Scorpio,” two other strong cuts that might have been winners on their own. Unfortunately, rather than a starting point, this album proved to be their ultimate peak. (All Music)
Check out “The Message”: