What Is Hip Hop? Grandmaster Flash’s Definition Of Hip Hop

Grandmaster Flash yellowGrandmaster Flash‘s Definition Of Hip Hop

As one of the pioneers of who was known for his ability to mix music I mixed anything from Billy Squire to Michael Jackson to Thin Lizzy to Sly And The Family Stone to Glen Miller to Tschochosky..

When I laid this foundation down.. the key was we could take almost anything musically just as long as it had a beat to it.. so that the rhymer who flowed over the top of it could syncopated.. For anybody to say that whatever they’re doing in Florida is not hip hop..or whatever they’re saying in LA is not hip hop.. Who are these people to say that?.. There were songs that Bambaataa played that to this day I still don’t know.. They were so funky.. Some of the ones I got the privilege to know..I was surprised…You take a song like ‘Apache‘ for example which was considered to be one of the hip hop main themes..Those were a bunch of white guys.. The Incredible Bongo Rock Band were white guys.. There was one person there who was Black.. He was King Erickson who was a percussionist…

For anybody to say ‘this is not hip hop’ or ‘that is not hip hop’ is wrong. That is not the way the formula was laid down.. It was for the people who were going to continue this to take anything…by all means necessary and string it along…

September 1996