Q & A with Legend Grandmaster Flash
Meet the man who helped pioneer hip-hop the way it is today, DJ Grandmaster Flash. Kidzworld got an interview with this influential DJ who just released his latest album Essential Mix: Classic Edition.
Do you dig Bow Wow, Eminem and grooves by Fat Boy Slim? They're some of the hottest hip-hop acts and DJs of today. Hip-hop music and DJing are forms of music that have evolved over time and the legendary Grandmaster Flash is considered one of the great musical pioneers of DJing and the evolution of hip hop.
Kidzworld got to chat it up with Grandmaster Flash and here's what he has to say about turntables, touring, his fave actor and the future of hip-hop. Check it out...
KW: What first attracted you to the turntables?
Flash: My love of music. My father was my first inspiration. He had an incredible stereo and a turntable and I was told not to touch it. But I'd go back and touch it anyway. I gained a respect for the turntables when I was a kid. When I was a teenager I came up with a "cueing system" to work the turntables because they didn't have it at that time.
KW: Who's been the biggest influence on your music?
Flash: My heroes are Kool Herc (godfather of hip-hop.) He would play funky obscure records. They had miniature 10-second breaks where the bassist or drummer played alone. And I thought there's got to be a way to take those sounds and extend them. Another influence is Pete DJ Jones, he would play disco stuff and blend one record into the next.
KW: Who's your favorite musical artist of today ('90s - 2000)?
Flash: I like LL Cool J, Eric B. & Rakim, SWV and Mary J. Blige.
KW: Who would you like to work with? (artist, DJ etc...)
Flash: There's so many... Fat Boy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Funkmaster Flex and DJ Kid Capri - I really like those guys a lot.
KW: What's the one thing you want this generation of teens to know about you?
Flash: I don't want to be classified as an old-skool DJ or new-skool DJ. I want to be classified as an ALL-skool DJ who plays it all. I also want to learn to DJ house music in my own fashion.
KW: Do you have any words of advice for a young person wanting to get into the biz?
Flash: It's not easy. It rarely happens overnight. But today's kids pick things up pretty good. Try to find your own niche (area or style) and be good at that niche.
KW: If you weren't in the
Flash: I'd be an electronics technician and I'd probably be building computers and fixing things.
KW: What did your parents say when you started DJing?
Flash: "Why are you doing that?" Because I was really good with electronics. I said, "I don't know but I want to."
KW: Do you play any other instruments besides the decks?
Flash: I dabble a tiny bit with the keyboards.
KW: How much do you think hip-hop's changed since you started out?
Flash: It's global now. There are more diverse points of view now. It's beautiful... it's lovely.
KW: How do you think rap/hip hop music will change in the next 10 years?
Flash: I don't know. I just hope that the DJs keep cuttin' (scratchin') on the wheels of steel and I hope that MCs come up with incredible lyrical stories. It's really hard to say where it'll end up. But it just goes to show this music's not a fad.
KW: What do you love/hate about touring?
Flash: I love entertaining people! I'm not big on different hotels... going from one box to another. You can never call it home. I read a lot of books on the road.
KW: What's your fave thing to do when you're not working?
Flash: Hmmm... Meditation for stress. I play with the kids. I like fixin' up old cars and doing things with my family.
KW: Who's your fave actor?
Flash: I don't get to watch many videos but Denzel Washington.
KW: What's your favorite movie?
Flash: Training Day.
KW: What school subject did you hate the most?
Flash: History, there were so many wars. It's mind-boggling [trying to remember] what happened in this war, and all the dates and times.
KW: What's your favorite saying?
Flash: I can do all things through Christ. Whenever things get a little rough I say it over and over and it makes me feel better.
KW: Fave snack food?
Flash: I'm not big on snacks but I if do, I like a few M&M's.
It was way-cool chattin' it up with the legendary Grandmaster Flash. He's a musical master and a very interesting guy to talk to. He helped hip-hop music emerge into what it is today and I'm sure he'll have a hand in where it's going tomorrow. Flash is a really nice guy whose passion for music runs deeper than his fingertips.
Grandmaster Flash signed off with a personal message to our Kidzworld members:
"With today's modern technology there is a world of opportunity and sometimes it's not in front of you. But me, coming from the early '70s and comparing the opportunities now, there are so many things you can do. Pick somethin' and ride it all the way through cuz the chances of it happening are so much more possible now as opposed to back then. Find something that you love and go for it!"
- Grandmaster Flash invented the Quick Mix Theory which is working a song "break" seamlessly into another (DJing.)
- Grandmaster Flash's latest release is called
Essential Mix: Classic Edition.
- Kidzworld's reviewed of Grandmaster Flash's Vancouver show on July 5, 2002.
- For more on Flash, take a spin on his official site./li