Ageless Grandmaster Flash, oldest DJ in The Official Global DJ Rankings Top 1000

14:05 Mar/18/2014

Joseph Saddler a.k.a. Grandmaster Flash may be the oldest DJ (born 01.01.1958) in the top 1000 of The Official Global DJ Rankings, but that doesn’t mean he’s outdated. You can’t write off the veteran DJ, as he’s on a remarkably high 985th position in The Official Global DJ Rankings.  In 2007, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first hip-hop artists to receive this kind of honor. This makes Grandmaster Flash the first DJ to be honored this way.

Music theorists have brought out the flux of influences that have given birth to jazz. There’s assumptions and stories about the relationships at play in the beginning of rock’n’roll. But in hip-hop you can precisely point out the founding fathers with confidence. One of those grand people is DJ Grandmaster Flash, a pioneer of hip-hop DJing, cutting and mixing coming from Bronx.

Getting infatuated with his father’s turntable and an extensive vinyl collection, he’d been experimenting with audio equipment ever since he was a little kid. He then came to revolutionize the way he – and in fact the whole world – would play music: the turntables became an instrument. He’s been entitled with the honor of being the first DJ to make music by manipulating vinyls forward, backward or in a counterclockwise motion by hand. Although the invention of record scratching’s been generally credited to Grand Wizzard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash still remains as the DJ to perfect the techinque and spread the new craze. According to some sources he’s also been credited for creating the crossfader. Provided the crossfader basically existed already in the end of Second World War (used by Tom Dowd, Atlantic Records genius and Les Paul), he was rather the first people to use it in the fashion he did. He created his first crossfader himself, from sourcing parts out of a junkyard in Bronx.

Studying DJing styles and techniques of earlier DJs such as Pete Jones, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flowers, he began experimenting with DJ gear himself. He evolved the techniques into a whole new level. He basically laid the groundwork for everything a DJ can do with a record. Inventing the Quick Mix Theory (including techniques like double-back, back-door, back-spin and phasin), he invented the role of a hip-hop DJ. Throwing trademark parties in the end of 70s, he also gave inspiration to the trend of rap artists emceeing over beats.

The most well known single by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five ’Message’ went platinum. The fame grew rappidly with the first DJ composition to be recorded by a DJ ’The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.’ There’s countless singles and 7 studio albums released by the DJ. Last album to this date is ’The Bridge (Concept of a culture)' that was released in 2009 and features notable rappers like Q-Tip, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Afasi, Big Daddy Kane.

With Jay-Z introducing him to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame and performing with todays top artists on the Grammy’s stage, Flash isn’t about to slow down. There was talk about a new studio album in the spring of 2012, but it seems there’s a final touch to be given and a little more time needed. Also, Flash’s entering the digital world of DJing using ’Traktor Scratch’ by Native instruments, so we’ll see what comes out of that.

This was a short summary of a colossal scale DJ, who’s continuing to tour the world in festivals clubs and venues. With his eyes and ears on the new influxes of dance music, there’s surely a lot to be expected of the hall-of-famer DJ Grandmaster Flash.

Check out ’Message’, a educational tape from way back and a clip of a documentary on Flashe's official Youtube channel.




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