This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
April 18th, 2012
April 18th – Grandmaster Caz a.k.a. Grandmaster Casanova Fly of The Cold Crush Brothers was born Curtis Fisher in Brooklyn, New York, on this day in 1961.
Caz was first introduced to hip-hop culture in the early 1970’s when he attended a block party where hip-hop founder DJ Kool Herc was spinning.
Caz soon after teamed up with DJ Disco Wiz and formed The Mighty Force DJ Crew. Caz would double his duties in The Mighty Force as both a DJ and an MC, one of the first people to ever do so.
Caz would then later join the legendary Cold Crush Brothers, whose original line-up included DJ Charlie Chase, Easy A.D., The Original DJ Tony Tone, Whipper Whip, Mr. Tee and Dot-A-Rock who all appeared with Caz in hip-hop’s first film; 1983’s “Wild Style.”
But Caz would be best known for his lyrical contributions to rap’s first and most influential release ever, 1979’s “Rapper’s Delight.”
This would come about when Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson’s son Joey heard Cold Crush manager Henry Jackson rapping along with Caz’s verses on a tape of one of the group’s live performances while flipping pizzas part-time in a restaurant.
Joey Robinson asked Jackson, who would become known as Big Bank Hank in The Sugar Hill Gang if he had more rhymes to audition for a group his mother Sylvia was putting together for the still mostly unknown label. Hank replied in the affirmative and immediately asked Caz for more rhymes.
Caz gave Hank, who previously was not an MC, free reign of his rhyme book with the understanding that he would compensated later. Caz would never be compensated until this day for rap’s most legendary recording.
Caz, however would release four albums of his own over the years; 1992’s “The Grandest Of Them All”, 2004’s “You Need Stitches: The Tuff City Sessions 1982 – 1988”, 2006’s “Rare And Unreleased – Old School Hip-Hop ’86 – ’87” and 2008’s “Mid Life Crisis.”
Grandmaster Caz has also appeared on recordings by Chris Stein, DJ Signify, DJ Haitian Star, DJ Parker Lee, Mark The 45 King, as well as several one-off 12 inch singles of his own not released on albums.
In 1999, Caz was inducted into The Technics DJ Hall Of Fame and in 2008 he was inducted in The Bronx Walk Of Fame.
Today, Grandmaster Caz works as a celebrity tour guide for Hush Hip-Hop Tours.
Grandmaster Caz a.k.a. Cassanova Fly is one of the first and most important MC’s and DJ’s in hip-hop history.