Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label and production company founded in 1978. It is the catalog division for Warner Music Group, its current CEO is Mark Pinkus. Founded in 1978, Rhino was a novelty and reissue label during the 1970s and 1980s, it released compilation albums of pop, rock & roll, rhythm & blues successes from the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as novelty-song LPs and retrospectives of famous comedy performers, including Richard Pryor, Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones. Rhino started as a record shop on Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, in 1973, run by Richard Foos, became a record distributor five years thanks to the effort of then-store manager Harold Bronson, their early releases were novelty records. The difficulties involved in getting airplay and distribution for such material caused Foos and Bronson to take the label in other directions. One of Rhino's early artists was The Twisters, whose Los Angeles popularity far exceeded their album sales.
Rhino's mail-order catalogs and early LP labels featured the company's mascot character, a cartoon Elvis Presley rhinoceros wearing a black leather jacket named "Rocky", designed by bootleg cover artist William Stout, cartoonist Scott Shaw!. Some of the label's earliest successes with reissues were achieved by acquiring the rights to the White Whale Records catalog that included the Turtles. By the mid-1980s, most of Rhino's releases were reissues of released recordings licensed from other companies. For superior sound quality, audio mastering of the original tapes was done under the direction of Bill Inglot, the label's creative packaging made Rhino one of the most respected reissue record labels, receiving rave reviews from music collectors and historians. Rhino was quick to get into the compact disc market, releasing dozens of oldies CDs at the dawn of the CD age in 1984, their retrospective compact disc releases, such as those in the Billboard Top Hits series, are remastered to restore or improve upon the releases' original analog audio quality.
In the late 1980s, Rhino transitioned into a complete entertainment company specializing in home video reissues of television programs such as The Monkees, The Lone Ranger, The Transformers, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Ed Sullivan's Rock'n' Roll Classics collection, as well as compact disc releases of select artists and movie soundtracks. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the company continued to sign artists and release new music, on the main Rhino label and on subsidiary labels such as RNA and Forward. However, the company's artists tended to generate more critical acclaim than public interest. One exception was the success of "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & the Beaters, a 1981 song that went to the top of the U. S. Billboard charts in late 1986 after being featured in an episode of the hit NBC TV series Family Ties. In 1985, Rhino signed a six-year distribution agreement with Capitol Records. During 1989 Rhino and Capitol’s parent EMI made a deal to jointly acquire Roulette Records; when the distribution deal with Capitol ended in 1992, Rhino signed a new distribution deal with Atlantic Records, in turn Time Warner bought a 50 per cent stake in the record company.
In 1998, Time Warner bought the other half of Rhino. The Rhino Records retail store, part of the 50% sale in 1992 but which reverted to Foos after Time Warner bought out the remainder, closed in 2005, it is through this merger that the label has reissued material from such artists as the Monkees, Eric Burdon, Dannii Minogue, the Ramones, the Grateful Dead, Lake & Palmer, the Beach Boys, the Doobie Brothers, the Cars, Tom Paxton, Third Eye Blind, the Doors, Spirit of the West and most the Bee Gees. Rhino's soundtrack releases include Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, North by Northwest, King Kong, Doctor Zhivago and Finian's Rainbow; the Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. film soundtrack libraries are managed by Warner Bros.' in-house label subsidiary, WaterTower Music. In 1999, Rhino started the'Rhino Handmade' division of limited-edition releases available from their website. All Handmade deluxe editions were limited to about 3,000 copies or less, once sold out were not re-pressed.
In 2003, co-founders and longtime executives Richard Foos and Harold Bronson left Rhino due to frustration with the challenges of an competitive market. In fact, Time Warner's final vesting of its 100 percent ownership of the label, its subsequent'reorganization' of label staff, which did not stop at the former owners, were the major factors in their exits. Soon after, Foos inaugurated a new label, Shout! Factory, which began releasing dozens of CDs and videos mirroring the original early-1990s Rhino philosophy. In 2004, Time Warner spun off its music divisions and today Rhino is part of the newly organized Warner Music Gr
Roulette Records was an American record company and label founded in 1957 by George Goldner, Joe Kolsky, Morris Levy and Phil Kahl, with creative control given to producers and songwriters Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. Levy was appointed director; the label had known ties to New York City mobsters. Levy ran the label with an iron fist. In 1958 Roost Records was purchased. Goldner subsequently bowed out of his partnership interest in Roulette and, to cover his gambling debts, sold his record labels Tico, Gee and — years — End and Gone to Levy, who grouped them into Roulette. Peretti and Creatore left Roulette and worked as freelance producers for RCA Records throughout the 1960s, they co-founded Avco Records in 1969. In 1971 Roulette took over the catalog of Jubilee Records. During the late 1950s, Roulette scored hits by Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, The Playmates, Jimmie Rodgers, Ronnie Hawkins and The Delicates as well as releasing albums by Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington and Count Basie. During the early 1960s, Roulette issued a number of hits connected to the twist dance craze, most notably "Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee and the Starliters.
They released a rare album of "twist songs" by Bill Haley & His Comets, Twistin' Knights at the Roundtable. Other major 1960s hits. A group of United States Marines called The Essex recorded the hit "Easier Said Than Done" while based at Camp Lejeune, NC, in 1963. In 1964, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay first recorded together on Roulette while in the nine-member Au Go Go Singers, the house band for the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City. In the UK Roulette's records were issued on the EMI Columbia label. In April 1965 the UK music magazine NME reported that Roulette had agreed to offer a sponsored show to the UK pirate radio radio station Radio Caroline; the hour-long show, recorded in the US by disc jockey Jack Spector, was to be broadcast five evenings a week. The contract was worth over £ 10,000 to the station. According to Tommy James of Tommy James and the Shondells, whose "Hanky Panky", "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Crimson and Clover" and many others were released during his time at the label, Roulette was a front business for the Genovese crime family.
James estimates that the label kept $30 million-$40 million of the group's royalties but afforded it total artistic freedom, whereas another label would have tampered with its formula and might have dropped the group early on. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Roulette was one of the industry's major distributors, handling records for many leading labels. Levy was the key financial backer for the rap music label Sugar Hill Records, founded in 1974 by the husband-and-wife team Joe and Sylvia Robinson. Sugar Hill released the first Top 40 rap single, "Rapper's Delight", in 1979. In the early 1980s, the Robinsons bought Levy out. In 1981, Henry Stone turned to Levy to help prevent the demise of TK Records, so they set up Sunnyview Records under the Roulette umbrella. In 1986, Levy was arrested and convicted for extorting money from an FBI informant, John LaMonte, but he died in Ghent, New York, before serving any time in prison. In 1989, Roulette Records was sold to a consortium of EMI and Rhino Records, the latter of, acquired by Warner Music Group.
Rhino would control Roulette’s pop catalogue in the USA, Canada and Mexico, while EMI acquired Roulette’s jazz catalogue worldwide, plus the international distribution of Roulette’s pop catalogue. As of 2013, Warner Music Group now has worldwide rights to the Roulette catalogue as a result of acquiring EMI’s Parlophone label. Following the acquisition, Rhino and EMI began issuing large royalty checks to former Roulette artists. Tommy James recalled that his checks were in amounts in seven digits. Roulette was notorious for not paying royalties to its artists, who had to rely on concerts and personal appearances for their income; until 2013, EMI used the Roulette name for the reissue of old Roulette-label material. In the US, Blue Note Records handled the Roulette jazz catalogue for release on the Roulette Jazz label until 2013, it was one of the units of Parlophone that Universal Music was required to sell to Warner Music Group to comply with international regulators. Roulette Records 25000 Popular Series of LP records began in 1957 and ran until 1968.
The Roulette 52000 Birdland Series of 12 inch LPs commenced in 1958 and consists of 124 album releases over 10 years. All of the soundtracks in this series were for films released in the United States during 1966. Reissue series from used by the label during 1973. All these albums have "Echoes of An Era" somewhere in the title, they are two-album sets. This was the label's final effort at repackaging its old recordings; these albums, which were acquired by Roulette for U. S. distribution, were recorded in the continent of Africa. These albums, which were acquired by Roulette for U. S. distribution, were recorded in the continent of Africa. List of record labels
The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip hop group. Their 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight" was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100; the members, all from Englewood, New Jersey, consisted of Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien. The three were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson, who founded Sugar Hill Records with her husband, record producer Joe Robinson; the group and the record company were named after the Sugar Hill, neighborhood. The Sugarhill Gang never had another U. S. hit, though it had multiple European hits, such as "Apache", "8th Wonder", "Rapper's Reprise", "Showdown". In 1999, the trio reunited and recorded Jump on It! A hip hop children's album. After Wonder Mike and Hendogg left Sugarhill Records in 2005, the original members of Sugarhill Gang besides Jackson have performed as the Original Sugar and as Rapper's Delight Featuring Wonder Mike and Master Gee; this is due to a string of legal cases against them regarding the use'Sugarhill Gang' as their name.
On November 11, 2014, Big Bank Hank died at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer. In 2016, the remaining living members of the original Sugarhill Gang, including Wonder Mike and Master Gee embarked on their first world tour in over a decade under the name The Sugarhill Gang. During this, they performed as the Sugarhill Gang for the Art of Rap festival tour in 2016, at V Festival in Hylands Park and Weston Park in the UK as part of their world tour in 2016. Other places included, the Clockenflap Festival in Hong Kong on November 27, 2016, they headlined at the Depot in the Park Festival in Cardiff, United Kingdom on August 5, 2017. Coming up, in July 2019 they will play the North Nibley Festival in Gloucestershire; the discography of The Sugarhill Gang includes five studio albums, nine compilations and fifteen singles. Sugarhill Gang Greatest Hits Rapper's Delight: The Best of Sugarhill Gang Ain't Nothin' but a Party Back to the Old School 2 - Rapper's Delights Sugarhill Gang, The* Vs. Grandmaster Flash - The Greatest Hits The Greatest Hits of Sugarhill Gang The Story of Sugarhill Records Hip Hop Anniversary Europe Tour: Sugarhill Gang Live Rhythm & Rhymes: The Definitive Collection Sugarhill Gang playlist on WaveCat "I Want My Name Back" documentary on the Sugar Hill Gang, Featuring Master Gee and Wonder Mike Master Gee interview
Hip hop music
Hip hop music called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech, chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, rhythmic beatboxing. While used to refer to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture; the term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music. Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became popular in New York City among African-American youth residing in the Bronx; however hip-hop music did not get recorded for the radio or television to play until 1979 due to poverty during hip-hop's birth and lack of acceptance outside ghetto neighborhoods.
At block parties DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables and a DJ mixer to be able to play breaks from two copies of the same record, alternating from one to the other and extending the "break". Hip hop's early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, a chanting vocal style, was used over the beats. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat. Notable artists at this time include DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Marley Marl, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Warp 9, The Fat Boys, Spoonie Gee; the Sugarhill Gang's 1979 song "Rapper's Delight" is regarded to be the first hip hop record to gain widespread popularity in the mainstream. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop.
Prior to the 1980s, hip hop music was confined within the United States. However, during the 1980s, it began to spread to music scenes in dozens of countries, many of which mixed hip hop with local styles to create new subgenres. New school hip hop was the second wave of hip hop music, originating in 1983–84 with the early records of Run-D. M. C. and LL Cool J. The Golden age hip hop period was an innovative period between the early 1990s. Notable artists from this era include the Juice Crew, Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions and KRS-One, EPMD, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Ultramagnetic MCs, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest. Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that focuses on the violent lifestyles and impoverished conditions of inner-city African-American youth. Schoolly D, N. W. A, Ice-T, Ice Cube, the Geto Boys are key founding artists, known for mixing the political and social commentary of political rap with the criminal elements and crime stories found in gangsta rap.
In the West Coast hip hop style, G-funk dominated mainstream hip hop for several years during the 1990s with artists such as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. East Coast hip hop in the early to mid 1990s was dominated by the Afrocentric jazz rap and alternative hip hop of the Native Tongues posse as well as the hardcore rap of artists such as Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Onyx. East Coast hip hop had gangsta rap musicians such as Kool G Rap and the Notorious B. I. G.. In the 1990s, hip hop began to diversify with other regional styles emerging, such as Southern rap and Atlanta hip hop. At the same time, hip hop continued to be assimilated into other genres of popular music, examples being neo soul and nu metal. Hip hop became a best-selling genre in the mid-1990s and the top selling music genre by 1999; the popularity of hip hop music continued through the 2000s, with hip hop influences increasingly finding their way into mainstream pop. The United States saw the success of regional styles such as crunk, a Southern genre that emphasized the beats and music more than the lyrics.
Starting in 2005, sales of hip hop music in the United States began to wane. During the mid-2000s, alternative hip hop secured a place in the mainstream, due in part to the crossover success of artists such as OutKast and Kanye West. During the late 2000s and early 2010s, rappers such as Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, B.o. B were the most popular rappers. During the 2010s, rappers such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar all have been popular. Trap, a subgenre of hip hop has been popular during the 2010s with hip hop artists and hip hop music groups such as Migos, Travis Scott, Kodak Black; the creation of the term hip hop is credited to Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. However, Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, DJ Hollywood used the term when the music was still known as disco rap, it is believed that Cowboy created the term while teasing a friend who had just joined the U. S. Army, by scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of soldiers marching.
Cowboy worked the "hip hop" cadence into a part of his stage performance, used by other artists such as The Sugarhi
Checker Records is an inactive record label, started in 1952 as a subsidiary of Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. The label was founded by the Chess brothers and Phil, who ran the label until they sold it to General Recorded Tape in 1969, shortly before Leonard's death; the label released recordings by African American artists and groups. Checker's releases cover a wide range of genres including blues and blues, doo-wop, gospel and roll, soul; the label was discontinued in 1971 following GRT's consolidation of the Chess catalogs. As with Cadet and Chess, the label's catalog is now owned by Universal Music Group and releases from the Checker catalog are released by Geffen Records and Chess. Due to the recent expansion of Chess Records, as well as to achieve greater airplay for singles, the Chess brothers opened up a subsidiary label named Checker; the first 45/78 rpm single released by the label was "Slow Caboose" b/w "Darling, Let's Give Love a Chance" by Sax Mallard and his Orchestra, released as Checker 750 in April 1952.
The label's most popular artist, in the label's early years, was Little Walter, who had ten songs released by Checker that made the Top Ten of Billboard magazine's Top Rhythm & Blues Records charts. Among those ten was "Juke" which topped the charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008. Checker released several singles by well-established blues artists such as Elmore James, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Memphis Minnie, none of which sold well. One well-established blues artist that did manage to make a hit on Checker was Sonny Boy Williamson II, who charted with "Don't Start Me Talkin'" in 1955, "Keep It to Yourself" in 1956, "Help Me" in 1963. On March 2, 1955, the Chess brothers recorded Bo Diddley. From this session came Bo's self-titled debut single on Checker, which topped the R&B charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. Another one of Bo Diddley's Checker singles, "Who Do You Love?", was inducted in 2010. In 1957, Checker cracked into the rockabilly market with Dale Hawkins, who had a crossover hit with "Susie Q", although he could not repeat the single's success.
In 1958, Checker released its first 12" 33⅓ rpm LP record, the Best of Little Walter, released as Checker LP-1428. Label Variations 1952-1957Spider web background on upper label, silver lettering with name Checker Record Co. spelled out in script letters. First 1952 issues were red 1952 through 1957 were maroon, silver letters on both types. Silver lettering on title/artist. 1958-1965Silver vertical letters spelling Checker name on left side, with a line running vertically by the name and running to about 4 o'clock along bottom of label. Silver lettering on title/artist. 1963-1966Light blue label with Checker name spelled across the top in red and black checkers, black lettering. 1966-1971Blue on upper half of label with light blue or white lower half,Checker name spelled across top of label in white letters with red on upper half of letters. Black lettering on title/artist. Steve Alaimo Fontella Bass Jack Casey Bo Diddley Gene Chandler Willie Dixon The Encores The Fantastic Violinaires Five Blind Boys of Mississippi The Flamingos Aretha Franklin Lowell Fulson Lena Gordon Dale Hawkins The King Kolax Orchestra J. B.
Lenoir Holle Thee Maxwell Little Milton Sax Mallard Orchestra Jimmy McCracklin Bobby Lester and the Moonlighters Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces Six Miller Danny Overbea Moris Pejoe Orchestra Arbee Stidham Orchestra The Students Sugar Boy and the Cane Cutters Al Fats Thomas Bobby Tuggle Little Walter Sonny Boy Williamson II Jimmy Witherspoon The Tune Weavers List of record labels Checker Records albums Checker Records singles Checker Records on the Internet Archive's Great 78 Project
The Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five song)
"The Message" is a song by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It was released as a single by Sugar Hill Records on July 1, 1982 and was featured on the group's first studio album, The Message. "The Message" was the first prominent hip hop song to provide a social commentary rather than the self-congratulatory boasting or party chants of earlier hip hop. The song's lyrics describe the stress of inner city poverty. "The Message" took rap music from the house parties of its origin to the social platforms developed by groups like Public Enemy, N. W. A, KRS-One. Melle Mel said in an interview with NPR: "Our group, like Flash and the Furious Five, we didn't want to do "The Message" because we was used to doing party raps and boasting how good we are and all that."The song was written by Sugar Hill session musician Ed "Duke Bootee" Fletcher and Furious Five MC Melle Mel. The rhythm track was sampled in various hip-hop songs, including Sinbad's 1990 comedy album "Brain Damaged", the remix for the 1993 song "Check Yo Self" by Ice Cube and the 1997 song "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy.
A line from the song was sampled in "Movement in Still life" by BT, the title track from his 1999 album Movement in Still Life. This song was featured in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; the second and last verses of "The Message" are sung by Mushroomhead in the song "Born of Desire" off their XX album. American singer-songwriter Willy Mason covered this song for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on February 25, 2005. Canadian band Crystal Castles sampled parts of this song for their track titled "Magic Spells". Genesis drummer and lead singer Phil Collins, along with Grammy Award winning producer Hugh Padgham, described in the 2001 release The Genesis Songbook how "The Message" helped shape the hook of the band's 1983 hit single "Mama". Padgham said that "At the time The Message was one of my favorite records". Collins thought "The laugh thing" was "Fantastic...what a great sound" and he experimented with it and incorporated it into the song. During live shows, his version using their signature Vari-Lite technology, became a highlight of the performance.
Collins quipped that "Rap has influenced Genesis". In the 2006 computer animated film Happy Feet, Seymour raps the chorus line from this song to impress Miss Viola and other penguin students. In 2007, the 25th anniversary of "The Message", Melle Mel changed the spelling of his first name to Mele Mel and released "M3 - The New Message" as the first single to his first solo album, Muscles. 2007 was the year that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first hip-hop act to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2010, Melle Mel and Scorpio appeared in an Australian commercial for the Kia Sportage in which they perform "The Message". On November 30, 2011, Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash joined Common, Lupe Fiasco, LL Cool J as they performed a tribute of this song at the 54th Grammy nominations. A Swedish translation/adaption of the song, "Budskapet", was released by Timbuktu in May 2013, following the riots in Husby and other suburbs of Stockholm; the chorus is referenced in the hip-hop musical Hamilton by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as "Such a blunder, sometimes it makes me wonder why I bring the thunder."
Dave Gahan raps a verse of the song during every live performance of Barrel of a Gun as part of Depeche Mode's ongoing Global Spirit Tour. The song was ranked as number 1 "Track of the Year" for 1982 by NME. Rolling Stone ranked "The Message" #51 in its List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, it had the highest position for any 1980s release and was the highest ranking hip-hop song on the list. In 2012 it was named the greatest hip-hop song of all time, it was voted #3 on About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs, after Common's "I Used to Love H. E. R." and The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight". In 2002, its first year of archival, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, the first hip hop recording to receive this honor. "The Message" was number 5 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. WatchMojo.com ranked "The Message" #1 on Top 10 Decade Defining Rap Songs of the 1980s, #1 on Top 10 Ultimate Decade Defining Rap Songs.
It was used, with altered lyrics, in a 1983 British Government commissioned public information film on road safety. The song has been used in adverts for clothing company Lacoste. "The Message" has been reused and re-sampled in so many different ways that it would be easy to reduce its legacy to cliché. Music critic Dan Carins described it in a 2008 edition of The Sunday Times: "Where it was inarguably innovative, was in slowing the beat right down, opening up space in the instrumentation—the music isn't so much hip-hop as noirish, nightmarish slow-funk and claustrophobic, with electro and disco jostling for room in the genre mix—and thereby letting the lyrics speak loud and clear". Not only does the song utilize an ingenious mix of musical genres to great effect, but it allows the slow and pulsating beat to take a backseat to the stark and haunting lyrical content. In addition to being regarded as an all-time rap anthem, "The Message" has been credited by many critics as the song that catapulted emcees from the background to the forefront of hip hop.
Thus, shifting the focus from the mixing and scratching of the grandmaster as the star, to the thoughts and lyrics of the emcee playing the star role. David Hickley wrote in 2004 that "The Message" crystallized a critical shift within rap itself, it confirmed that emcees, or rappers, had vaulted past the deejays as the stars of the music". "The Message'95" "The Message" – 1997, Deepbeats R
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were an American hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978. Composed of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole, Keith Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem, the group's use of turntablism, break-beat DJing, conscious lyricism were significant in the early development of hip hop music. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five built their reputation performing at parties and live shows in the late 1970s and achieved local success. By the time the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" was released, the group realized the potential of cutting records and signed with various labels until staying with Sugar Hill Records. Under Sugar Hill Records, the group rose to prominence in the early 1980s with their first hit "Freedom", it was not until the release of "The Message" and the album of the same name that they achieved mainstream success. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five would break up into two separate groups due to differences until a brief reunion in 1987 led to the release of the original line-up's second album On the Strength.
Afterward, they disbanded permanently. Today the group's legacy continues on as Grandmaster's Furious Five with only Melle Mel and Scorpio as remaining members; the group is regarded as among the most influential hip hop acts. Their biggest single and acknowledged masterpiece "The Message" is cited as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. In 2007 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making them the first hip hop group to be inducted. Prior to the formation of the Furious Five, Grandmaster Flash worked with the "L Brothers" which consisted of "Mean Gene" Livingston, Claudio Livingston and Grand Wizzard Theodore. Flash recruited his friend Cowboy, Melle Mel and The Kidd Creole; the trio called themselves the Three MC's who are the first emcee group as it relates to rap as we know it today. Cowboy, through his use of a "scat routine" that the culture's early detractors used to label the music, thus the term "hip hoppers" was used by the disco set to describe the culture whittled down to hip hop.
While using this "scat routine" at a party for a friend who had just joined the U. S. Army, Cowboy began scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of the marching drill, he worked the "hip hop" cadence into part of his performance this evolved into the term "Hip Hop", adopted by the industry. Melle Mel and The Kidd Creole were the first rappers to call themselves "MCs"; the 3 emcees worked with Flash, who went on to bring in Mr. Rahiem. After the formation of the Furious 5, Flash worked with rapper Kurtis Blow doing parties in Queens. During the time Flash worked with Kurtis Blow, it was due to internal disputes with the emcees, so for a short time prior to the formation of the Cold Crush Brothers in 1981, DJ Charlie Chase was the Furious 5's DJ. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 were the number one rap group on the streets of New York City before rap music was embraced by the music industry, set the standard for all other emcee groups who came after them.
The first single they released were "We Rap More Mellow", registered under the name "The Younger Generation". The name was decided by the producer, they were locally popular, gaining recognition for their skillful raps and deejaying, but it was not until the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" proved that hip hop music could reach mainstream that they began recording. In 1979 they released their first single on Enjoy Records, "Superappin'". Afterwards, they switched to Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill Records after an agreement that they could perform over a current DJ favorite. In 1980, the group had their Sugarhill Records debut with "Freedom", reaching #19 on the R&B chart and selling over 50,000 copies; the follow-up "Birthday Party" went on to become a hit as well. In 1981 Grandmaster Flash released "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel"; this was a multi deck live recording of one of Grandmaster flash's routines featuring, Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and Chic's "Good Times".
It marked the first time that scratching & turntablism had been recorded on a record. In 1982 the group released "The Message,", produced by Clifton "Jiggs" Chase and Ed "Duke Bootee" Fletcher, the latter who wrote the song It provided a political and social commentary and went on to become a driving force behind conscious hip-hop; the song peaked at #4 in the R&B chart and #62 in the pop chart, established hip-hop's credibility in mainstream music. Other than Melle Mel, however, no members of the group appear on the record, their debut album was named The Message, it went on to become a prominent achievement in the history of hip-hop. In 1983, Grandmaster Flash, who never appeared on any of the group's studio recordings, sued Sugar Hill Records for $5 million in unpaid royalties; this resulted in the single "White Lines" being credited to "Grandmaster & Melle Mel". The song reached #47 in Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Another lawsuit was filed over certain elements of the song being stolen from "Cavern" by Liquid Liquid, from which Sugar Hill Records would never recover.
The royalties dispute split the group, Melle Mel left, soon followed by Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Cowboy after "White Lin