Released : 1982
Anybody who ever tells you crime doesn’t pay should take some time out to speak with Joseph Sadler, AKA Grandmaster Flash, first generation pioneer DJ’s & MCee along with Afrika Bambaata and the nascent hip-hop movement’s undoubted Grandaddy, Cool Herc.
All three of them emerged from the war torn vista of The Bronx in the seventies, an area renowned for it’s selective lawlessness, but for Flash, that proved to work to his advantage as, during the city’s infamous blackout on July 13th 1977 through some associates he received a new set of decks valued at well beyond what he could afford.
The Message became the first mainstream hip hop track to do a lot of things, from plugging social issues into the rhymes, to incorporating some of P-Funk’s nutty rumble (The famous huh-huh-huh-huh stutter) and it’s splicing in of those gigantic electro inspired breaks. It’s not the best rap song ever made, but in terms of legacy alone it’s surely the most influential of all time. After it, everyone’s hands were right up where you could see ’em.