Grandmaster Flash
After being the first hip-hop group to ever be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash is ready to drop his new album “The Bridge”. After dropping classics like “The Message” and White Lines”, Flash drops through to give us an in depth look into his career and hip-hop today. This is an interview EVERY hip-hop fan must read!
WHO?MAG: Tell me about how you picked the line-up for your new “The Bridge” album?
Grandmaster Flash: I was writing the tracks to this album. One by one I was recording onto a cd and I would jump in my car and listen to them for hours (one by one) and it was as though the tracks were talking to me. That let me know who was needed for the particular track that I was listening to.

WHO?MAG: I was happy to see Hedonis da Amazon, a good friend of WHO?MAG on two of your songs. How did that come about?
Grandmaster Flash: I felt this album would be incomplete if I did not put great unsigned talent on this album. With the major help of my staff of Adrenaline Records Entertainment, I had asked my staff to get me as many demos as possible and put me in front of the computer to listen to as many rappers as possible and I also went to many open mics as well looking for great unsigned talent. I have received the word that there was a hot female rapper from Philly. I heard and immediately agreed. She was even better when I recorded with her.

WHO?MAG: My personal favorite track is “Shine All Day” with Q-Tip, JUMZ, and Kel Spenser. Can you tell me a little about that song?
Grandmaster Flash: That track, the music alone is a cross between R&B and opera. That is how I look at that track. When I finished writing the music to that song, once again took the CD and rode for hours. The track called for Q-Tip. I called my office and told them to locate Q-Tip. Once I had Tip, I had to find two unsigned artists that would compliment Q-Tip. And with the help of my staff, I found Jumz and Kel Spencer and the combination of the three was perfect.

WHO?MAG: Let’s take it back a bit. Tell me about the whole concept behind “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ and the production process.
Grandmaster Flash: The record company at that time that I was signed with did not understand why I wanted to do a DJ medley of hit songs of that error. I had to wait two years to get my turn, once I got my turn, I did the record in three takes.

WHO?MAG: What did you think about Roc Raida’s DJ routine for the DMC when he used that song?
Grandmaster Flash: Complimentary. It was such a compliment and I think he is an incredible DJ and I took it as the ultimate compliment as he could have used many other songs.

WHO?MAG: What was it like watching artists like DJ Pete Jones and Kool Herc?
Grandmaster Flash: I did not watch DJ Pete Jones a lot. My father was the main inspiration and Kool Herc was the conferment that I wanted to be a DJ.

WHO?MAG: Tell me about your role in the classic hip-hop movie Wild Style?
Grandmaster Flash: My role was a deejay and my deejay scene was suppose to take place at the Ban Shell in the Village. It rained so hard that we could not shoot the day and it was the only day he could shoot, so producer said to do it right there in the kitchen, so we did it.

WHO?MAG: What’s your take with Serato vs. vinyl?
Grandmaster Flash: My digital DJ device of choice is Traktor. It think it is a welcoming addition to my vinyl creation of hip hop deejaying. I do not use Serato.

WHO?MAG: What is your favorite record to beat juggle and why?
Grandmaster Flash: I don’t have a favorite. I love all music.

WHO?MAG: What equipment he uses now and why?
Grandmaster Flash: I use the empath mixer by Rane (which I designed) and I use technique turntables.

WHO?MAG: Tell me about “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash” book.
Grandmaster Flash: It is a chronological history of Joseph Saddler and how he became Grandmaster flash.

WHO?MAG: What do you think was the most important message you made by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame?
Grandmaster Flash: Hip Hop is no longer a passing fad. It became equal with any other musical genre that came before it.

WHO?MAG: How did you feel about Jay-Z’s speech to induct you guys into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Grandmaster Flash: Amazing.

WHO?MAG: What’s next up for Grandmaster Flash?
Grandmaster Flash: I would like to produce new and upcoming talent. I would like to do video game music, movie scores, soundtracks and lectures at colleges. I would also like to consult for DJ electronics.