Birthday Greetings to Grandmaster Flash

This day in hip-hop celebrates the birth of phenomenal recording artist, legendary DJ, and overall regarded among hip-hop's earliest icons, none other than Grandmaster Flash.

Born Joseph Saddler, the younger Flash grew up in The Bronx, developing a certain fascination towards music from his father whilst also involving in electronics from his mother. “My father was a very heavy record collector,” he mentions in an interview, “I used to open his closets and just watch all the records he had. I used to get into trouble for touching his records, but I'd go right back and bother them.”

Ever the avid learner, Flash took to the styles and techniques of earlier icons, such as Pete Jones, Kool Herc, and Grandmaster Flowers, studying them until his own experiments eventually led to innovations of his own.

Of the many styles Grandmaster Flash became praised for, three stand out as dominant techniques, still used to date; These innovations include the backspin technique, punch phrasing, and scratching, with the latter, Flash perfecting from Grand Wizzard Theodore who first introduced the technique.

Grandmaster Flash's resume boasts a tremendously-decorated laundry list of performances, ranging from parties to collaborations with artists such as Kurtis Blow and Lovebug Starski, not to mention forming the memorable group Grandmaster Flash & the 3 MCs, teaming up with Melle Mel, Kid Creole, and Cowboy—who by the way eventually invented the term, “hip-hop”. Oh, and who could forget the notorious Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five?

Needless to say, Grandmaster Flash's phenomenal career garnered numerous awards and accolades, such as 2006's I Am Hip Hop Award, 2007's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as earning a Grammy Award in 2011.

By Jods Arboleda for RAPStation.com

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