HIP-HOP 101: GRAND WIZZARD THEODORE (The Inventor of the Scratch)

waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of SelfOn The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2012 in The Reason
TONEBAMBUSY.jpg flash.jpg

Grand Wizzard Theodore (born March 5, 1963), is an American hip hop DJ. He is widely credited as the inventor of scratching.

Born Theodore Livingston in Bronx, New York, his brother, Mean Gene, was Theodore's mentor, and began teaching him DJing before Theodore was even a teen. In addition to scratching, he achieved renown for his mastery of needle drops and other techniques which he invented or perfected. Theodore also apprenticed under Grandmaster Flash.

In the early 1980s, Theodore was a part of the group Grandwizard Theodore & the Fantastic Five. They released "Can I Get a Soul Clap" in 1980. He was also featured in the 1983 film Wild Style, as well as contributing to the film's soundtrack. He explains the origin of the scratch in the documentary, Scratch.


GrandWizzard Theodore at BelTek Festival in Belmont, Maine, 2009
Theodore's phrase "Say turn it up" from his track "Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie" was widely sampled by hip hop and rap acts such as Public Enemy (on the track "Bring the Noise"), Bomb the Bass (on the track "Megablast") and many others.


Disciplined InSight*~queenbee~*sniperk32DaysOfInfiniti
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  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    GrandWizzard Theodore

    Of the Legendary L- Brothers, Fantastic Four & Fantastic 5 Emcee’s.

    Told to Troy L. Smith

    End of Summer 2005



    TS: Thank you for your time Theodore. I'd like to get right to it. Where were you born and raised?



    GWT: I was born in Harlem Hospital. Raised in the South Bronx, on Boston Road and 168th St.



    TS: What inspired you to want to DJ?



    GWT: My brother Mean Gene and Grand Master Flash. Flash and my brother were b- boys first, break dancing at the Hevalo, Psychedelic Shack and other spots, even house parties.



    TS: So while they were break dancing, who was the DJ at that time? Pete DJ Jones, Disco King Mario?



    GWT: Well see, Pete only played Disco music. You got a lot of people that say they was into Hip Hop, but Pete played Disco music. Hollywood played Disco music. When we tried to get into Hollywood’s parties, they would be like, “Oh no! You have to have on suit jackets and shoes" and all that. Sometimes we would get into the party and some of the guys would start b-boying and they would turn the music off and say, “Oh we don’t do that in here.”



    TS: (We start laughing.) Tony Tone told me that. He said Hollywood would say, "Take that s--- down the block to Flash’s party."



    GWT: Yeah talking about, "We don’t do all that.” I got a lot of love for all the pioneers, but if a DJ was playing Disco music back in the days, then Disco got killed by Hip Hop, then they start doing Hip Hop, you really can’t say you was into Hip Hop. You have to keep it real.



    TS: How many years does Gene and Cordie-O have over you?



    GWT: Well I have four older brothers. My brother Gene is the oldest. Then there is my brother Isaac, Larry, then Cordie-O. I have a big a sister and a little sister.



    TS: So Larry and Isaac didn’t want to get into this DJ thing?



    GWT: No, everybody else was into thier own thing.



    TS: So why is it that Cordie-O isn’t getting as much recognition as you and Gene are? You almost never hear about him, the tapes I have he barely gets on to DJ.



    GWT: My brother Cordie-O was and still is laid back, he mostly helped hook the equipment up. He usually played music, like, if I wanted to take a break or go to the bathroom or something like that.


    *~queenbee~*
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: So who started up the L- Brothers?



    GWT: Gene and Cordie-O. Flash and my brother Gene originally had their own group, they simply called themselvesGrandmaster Flash and the Amazing Mean Gene. After that, Flash formed his own group and we became the L- Brothers. People already knew who we were, they just had to get used to the name L- Brothers. Once they saw me and Cordie-O DJ, people realized that we were ahead of our time. We were ready like overnight. Then we put Kevie Kevkev.jpg on.

    Kev was in my class in 3rd grade. We were doing a block party one night, and he came up and he wanted to get on the mic. My brother Gene didn’t want to let nobody get on the mic. Finally he let Kev get on the mic and Kev started saying some rhymes. The people started feeling him. After that, he was like, “Yo I want to get down with the crew.” I was like, “Well come to the house, we will have a little meeting, then we will make a decision.” I came to find out that Master Rob was writing the rhymes and Kev was saying the rhymes. When I found that out, I said, "We might as well put both of ya'll down."



    TS: So why did Busy Beebusybee.jpg leave the L- Brothers?



    GWT: Busy Bee is the type of person that just flows from DJ to DJ. Whatever DJ is bouncing at that time, that is where you will see Busy. One week you will see him over there with Cool Dee, the next week you might see him with Disco King Mario. Next week you might see him with us.



    TS: So was he really a member of the L- Brothers?



    GWT: Yes he was.



    TS: Kevie Kev said he fired Busy because there was a contract stating that no emcee in the L- Brothers was allowed to play on anyone else’s set except the L- Brothers. Busy still choose to emcee on other people's sets, so he had to let him go.



    GWT: I wouldn’t say it was a written contract….



    TS: …No, I understand that…



    GWT: It was a verbal contract.



    TS: Exactly.



    GWT: But Busy Bee is going to be Busy Bee. Back then for him to get on other mics to get more clientelle for himself, that’s what Busy Bee is going to do. Busy Bee is always going to be like that. Even now, he flows from DJ to DJ just to get his paper up. If a person is a certain way, it is hard to change him.



    TS: So how did you feel about him leaving, did you really like him, did you think he was really a skilled emcee, was he needed for the crew?



    GWT: Well Busy Bee…is very talented.



    TS: Man, I dig Busy today. When we were growing up we used to all say he is saying the same thing over and over and over. But even right now he can rock a party. At one of the recent Zulu Anniversaries he killed it, and this is with records of today, he was rocking right along with the record, and he was still doing pretty much his same formula.



    GWT: He is an entertainer, man. He is the crowd motivator. As far as how I felt when he left, I don’t let things like that bother me, you know what I am saying? I just kept it moving, man. I am not going to let anybody get in the way of my goal. My goal was to keep DJing, get my skills up to par and just go where ever it is going to take me. I was just ready to go!


    *~queenbee~*
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: Where did the name GrandWizzard come from?



    GWT: The emcee’s gave me that name. The Fantastic Fivefan5.jpg. The way I flipped the records, I was playing Hip Hop records with R&B records, mixing records back and forth, mixing a pair of records. So they was like we should call you "GrandWizzard". So the name just stuck with me.



    TS: You know what? As I listen to all these tapes that I have, I told you I have over 160 tapes, and you know how they say Flash is this and Flash is that and certain other DJs, but I never seen these guys when I was growing up. But how I could tell who was a great DJ was through listening to the tapes. When you did that cut where you broke down "Super Sperm", “Sup, sup, sup, sup, per, per, per, sperm, sperm, sperm.” (Theodore starts laughing.) I said “Oh man, this is unbelievable.” So I give you a lot of props on that.



    GWT: Thank you.



    TS: You, Afrika Islam, I can hear it through the tapes. Krazy Eddie, Jazzy Jay. But I can’t say Flash. Although I am sure he did some awesome work back in the days and I say that because through the tapes the crowds go berserk when he does something visually nice for them. But I do have friends that are DJs that can really hear what I can’t because I am not a DJ. so I really can’t take from him. Although I do have a Monroe High School tape were he goes off. But he is cutting I think Good Times a thousand times.



    GWT: Right.



    TS: I read in an article that Gene originally didn’t want you to DJ, you ended up having to sneak it to do it. Flash put you on to it. Flash showed you how to do it?



    GWT: Gene and Flash were down together and people were trying to say that Flash taught me. I taught myself how to DJ.Nobody taught me how to DJ. The only thing Flash taught me was, you know, there are so many different mixers out there..you have to know how to turn the mixer on, turn the mixer off..,this is this cross fader, for that turntable, this cross fader for that turntable..these are the ear phones.. that’s about it. He never sat me down and said, "O.K. This is how you mix these two records together. It was nothing, never like that. All the skills that I have I taught myself. Nobody taught me all the skills that I have. That is why my style is like no other. If anything, Flash taught me - this is the left turntable, this is the right turntable, this is the mixer, this is that for the mixer, and this is that for the mixer - but I pretty much knew all that already, just by watching.



    TS: Your brothers were already doing this before Flash even came to your house, didn’t Flash stay at your house for a minute as well?



    GWT: Flash was down from day one with Gene. Flash couldn’t keep the equipment at his house, so the equipment was at my mom’s house. Flash was able to come any time he wanted to DJ. If he came and he stayed till 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, he had a room were he could just stretch out. My moms was like,"You can come and go as you please."



    TS: So she had a love for him like he was one of hers. That’s good.



    GWT: Yeah, my moms is the kind of person where when she cooked, who ever was in the house, got to eat.



    TS: So what’s up with this other rumor that Flash disobeyed Gene by trying to show you how to DJ on the low?



    GWT: I guess my brother probably felt we already had two DJs, why do we need with another one? As far as Flash sneaking me in and putting me on a milk crate and teaching me, that is a bunch of bull.



    TS: That’s what I needed to hear, not trying to play him, but what is the truth and what is myth.



    GWT: No, it is what it is.



    TS: So why did Gene and Flash separate from each other?



    GWT: They probably out grew each other.



    TS: So what’s the relationship with you and Flash today? Because we getting reports here and there that you are not feeling him and he might not be feeling you, and its almost coming to that moment were ya’ll are going to battle each other on the turntables. Is this valid?



    GWT: To be honest with you, I don’t sit back and worry about what the next DJ is doing. Even back in the days, when we used to battle and there was so many other DJs doing the same thing that we was doing, as far as doing parties and stuff like that. I don’t sit back and worry about what the next man is doing, I just focus on what I am doing. You have a lot of DJs that wanted to battle this person and they want to battle that person. I wasn’t looking to battle nobody. All the battles that I had, the DJ pretty much came up and wanted to battle us.


    *~queenbee~*
  • antarticpantarticp Posts: 8,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    my cousin named himself after this dude ... DJ Theodore ... and he always brags about how he beat Dj Jazzy Jeff in a dj battle @ the skating rink ;)

    waterproof
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    antarticp wrote: »
    my cousin named himself after this dude ... DJ Theodore ... and he always brags about how he beat Dj Jazzy Jeff in a dj battle @ the skating rink ;)

    @antarticp you have to share the story your cousin beating DJ Jazzy Jeff a DJ Legend and winner of the '86 DJ World Championship is a great accomplishment.

    Grandwizzard Theodore is a legend and a innovator on the wheels of steel i can see why your cousin name himself after the great DJ, the holy grail of DJ's is Theodore, Flash, Herc and Afrika Bambattaa so they the ones that everybody is the golden years looked up to.
    *~queenbee~*
  • antarticpantarticp Posts: 8,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    waterproof wrote: »
    antarticp wrote: »
    my cousin named himself after this dude ... DJ Theodore ... and he always brags about how he beat Dj Jazzy Jeff in a dj battle @ the skating rink ;)

    @antarticp you have to share the story your cousin beating DJ Jazzy Jeff a DJ Legend and winner of the '86 DJ World Championship is a great accomplishment.

    Grandwizzard Theodore is a legend and a innovator on the wheels of steel i can see why your cousin name himself after the great DJ, the holy grail of DJ's is Theodore, Flash, Herc and Afrika Bambattaa so they the ones that everybody is the golden years looked up to.

    thats as about as much as i know ... it was @ the skating rink and he won lol .... honestly i cant tell you if its true or not cause i wasnt even born when it went down ... thats something he told me when i got interested in learning how to dj .... but he def was a nice dj and very well known out here in delaware as a dj ... the only thing i can say is my cousin isnt the type to lie .... so i always took his word for it ....

  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    YO HIP-HOP HEADS, GRAND WIZZARD THEODORE in this part of the interview from Jay Quan talks about the cold relationship he have with Grandmaster FlashGRANDMASTER_FLASH_PROMO_PIX_3__1_.JPG... a good insight on this hip-hop rivalry



    TS: Your crew was the hottest anyway so they supposed to want to bring it to you.



    GWT: I am not into worrying about what the next DJ is doing. I am just worried about focusing on what I have to do. I don’t have no time for that s---.



    TS: So ya’ll not really cool the way ya’ll once were?



    GWT: Oh we cool. We just don’t get to talk that much. We don’t do parties together or nothing like that.



    TS: Is it because you not trying to do no parties any more, or time won’t allow?



    GWT: We have talked, I have asked, “What up? We need to do a tour or something together.”



    TS: o.k., that would be real good.



    GWT: He knows that I want to do that and he hasn’t gotten back to me, so right there that has told me that he ain’t trying to do anything. I don’t know if he is scared to be on the same stage with me……



    TS: You a funny cat now…(Troy starts to laugh.) you going to amp it now.



    GWT: People will find out that our skills are totally different and…..and ..how can you say you taught this person how to DJ when ya’ll skills is like night and day?



    TS: What does that mean though….your skills are like night and day. (I really didn’t expect what he was about to say.)



    GWT: His skills are just basic and limited. You know what I am saying? My skills stretch a long way. I can rock a party like I used to, or I can turn into a turntablist. I can flip with cats in Italy and Japan. They flipping the music really crazy these days. I just keep it real. I come to entertain. I am not here to worry about what the next DJ is doing and calling out DJs to battle. I don’t have nothing to prove to nobody.


    *~queenbee~*
  • Disciplined InSightDisciplined InSight The Clairvoyant One.... Posts: 12,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    PROPS.

    Appreciate the lesson waterproof...teach the young ones...
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    PROPS.

    Appreciate the lesson waterproof...teach the young ones...

    No doubt giving shine on these legends, every month im going to drop a thread on some the legends of the past in hip-hop from EMCEE'S, DJ'S, B-BOYS n B-GIRLS and Graf artist
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭


    rsz_legends11.jpg

    RESPECT THE ARCHITECTS: THE MIGHTY KOOL HERC, GRANDMASTER MELLE, "THE CHIEF ROCKA" BUSY BEE, GRAND WIZZARD THEODORE, GRANDMASTER CAZ
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: That’s what I wanted to ask you how many battles and who have you battled back in those days?



    GWT: We didn’t have too many battles.



    TS: Well who did you battle, other than Cold Crushextralarge.jpg?



    GWT: I battled Afrika Islam20110503afrikaislam.jpg.



    TS: With the Funk Machine or by himself?



    GWT: By himself, at the Sparkle Club. He came to the Sparkle one night and we battled and he was F up, because that was when I first started scratching and stuff like that.



    TS: Oh o.k. so you were really young at this time.



    GWT: Yeah I was like 12 or 13 years old



    TS: What? And he got you about 3, 4 years



    GWT: Yeah.



    TS: And you tore him out the frame?



    GWT: I mean my skills were really advanced.



    TS: Yeah like you was true ball player.



    GWT: Yeah,, cats was like “if you want to get your weight up, Theodore is the person to battle.”



    TS: I got to give Afrika Islam props, I have a tape with (tape 11.) him cutting Impeach the President along with Mardi Gras, and he is killing it, it sounds like art. Who else did you battle? What about Bam or Mario?



    GWT: I was actually down with Mario. I used to go over to Soundview (East Bronx) and DJ for him. Then we battled Kool Herc02.jpg in the West Bronx. Herc had his system there and we had ours.



    TS: That’s what I wanted to ask you too. I got that tape also (tape 56.) but where was the battle at? Was it the Galaxy?



    GWT: We were at the Galaxy. That was a crazy night. To be honest with you, all Herc could do to us was turn his system up on us.



    TS: I understand, but did he do any type of show when it was his turn other then turn up his music? Did he get on at all?



    GWT: He mostly let Clark KentNike-x-DJ-Clark-Kent-Air-Force-1-Hi-Supreme-Release-Recap-1-570x424.jpg come on. Clark Kent is not a bad DJ.



    TS: So Herc really didn’t get on?



    GWT: I think Herc got on at the end. He just turned his system up and stuff like that.


    ^^^that shit is funny, The Mighty Kool Herc used to blow other DJ's out of the galaxay with his Turntable system,lol.... other DJ's systems wasnt built for that type of battle.

    THE MIGHTY DJ KOOL HERC WAS LIKE Unicron1.jpg when it came to who had the loudest system
    *~queenbee~*
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TS: How old were you when you first did the scratch?



    GWT: I was like 12 or 13 years old.



    TS: Do you remember what the record was that you were using when you first scratched?



    GWT: I was playing with "Passport" and "Bongo Rock." It was the beginning of the summer almost because I was just getting ready to get out of school. So the weather was just getting real nice.



    TS: So that would be a May or June. Say 1978?



    GWT: 1975.



    TS: Damn that early? I didn’t know it was that early. So the first time you did it was at an out side jam, how did the crowd respond?



    GWT: The crowd was hyped! Everybody already knew that I had good skills on the turntables, after they came to the park and saw me needle dropping a record and stuff like that. They were even more amazed when I did the scratch for the first time. Everybody was amazed. It hyped the crowd.



    TS: Do you remember the record you played that day at he outside jam?



    GWT: It was "Jam on the Groove" definitely.



    TS: The needle drop, how did that come about?



    GWT: My moms had a little turntable in the house that she played music on. I used to play 45’s on there and just basically skip the 45 back to the break part. When I finally got to the big turntables, I already had the skills.



    TS: Who else did you battle?



    GWT: I battled Jay Cee.



    TS: I heard Jay Cee. That was with Kool Herc and The Herculiods and was pretty good.



    GWT: Yeah, he was cool. I battled Whiz KidWizKid.jpg also.



    TS: Damn Whiz was nice too. He won some trophies too. I got one with him, Jazzy Jayp.jpg and Charlie Chase l.jpgbattling at the New Music Seminar. (tape 119.) He went on last. He tore it up. He won.



    GWT: Yeah he was a good DJ


    *~queenbee~*
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: What about Bamafrika_bambaataa-98f131.jpg?



    GWT: When we went to play at Bronx River, it wasn’t really no battle. It was just two DJs. We brought our system in and he brought his system in. Everybody was looking at it like me and Jazzy Jay was going to go at it and stuff. The crowd is always going to make it into something when it is nothing.



    TS: You mean Jazzy Jay or Bam?



    GWT: Jay.



    TS: What about Bam?



    GWT: No, never battled.



    TS: What about DJ Lovebug Starskilovebug.jpg.



    GWT: No.



    TS: What made you separate from Gene and Cordie-O and make the Fantastic 4?



    GWT: It was getting to the point were they wasn’t into it like they once were. Also it got to a point were the style of the DJ was changing. It got to the point were DJs were mixing and scratching now, all kinds of new stuff. They just couldn’t keep up with it.



    TS: How did Dot and Whip get a shot with ya’ll?



    GWT: We knew them when they were running with Charlie Chase and Tony Tone. Originally, Fantastic wasn’t trying to put them down. Kev, Rob and Ruby didn’t want them in the beginning. I told them that all it could do is make the crew better.



    TS: Did Kev say why he didn’t want them down?



    GWT: No, Kev was just being Kev at that time.



    TS: (starts laughing) Read the story I did on him, boy, that kid is crazy. He said if Kool Moe Dee did to him what he did to Busy Bee there would be some drama. I said "What?" He said, “Yeah, because that was some real bull $%#* he did, don’t nobody do anything like that, he called Busy Bee out. That was disrespectful, that’s not how you have an m.c. battle, you go by rhyme skills. Not trying to disrespect somebody.” I said, "Damn you have a point but I never heard it like that." Everybody else loved that battle, I say he is right but that’s Kev!



    GWT: Yeah well what Busy Bee and Kool Moe Dee did was classic.







    TS: Exactly, but Kev felt it was too insulting.



    GWT: But if Kool Mo Dee26275065.jpg called Kev out, Kev would have had to step up to the plate.



    TS: He would have had to, exactly. There probably would have been some beef afterwards.



    GWT: Back then I don’t think Kev was like a battle emcee, he was more like he is going to rhyme for the ladies.



    TS: Exactly.



    GWT: You have some guys that write rhymes for battles, and you have some who write rhymes for……



    TS: Just to be cool



    GWT: Right, just to be cool, and rap for the ladies.



    TS: Right, Spoonie Gee typespoonie-G-225.jpg.



    GWT: Emcee Busy Bee, didn’t write battle rhymes either. Busy Bee didn’t write battle rhymes. Kev didn’t write battle rhymes. Rob didn’t write battle rhymes.



    TS: Maybe Dot wrote battle rhymes. I say that because he had that type of personality, as well as he was a very good writer as well.



    GWT: Dot wrote battle rhymes and Whipper Whipdotfly.jpg wrote battle rhymes, because that’s where they came from, that’s the side of town they came from. If Kool Moe Dee would have called out Kev there is no telling what would have happened.



    TS: You right.



    GWT: But sometimes when som one calls you out, you have to go for it, because if somebody calls you out and you don’t go for it, people will be look at you like, “Ah man!. So sometimes you have to go for it.



    TS: During the CC4 Fantastic battle what made you put the handcuffs on? (Theodore starts laughing.) Were you practicing this all week, all month, before the battle, did you do it at another show before the battle?



    GWT: No I mostly used to do it in the house. I was in the house fooling around one night, I had some ladies in the room with me.



    TS: You is a funny cat. (starts laughing)



    GWT: We was smoking some weed and drinking some beer and stuff like that. They pulled out the handcuffs and handcuffed me. I started DJing with the handcuffs. They both were saying the other one had the key, at the same time I am trying to finish a tape I was making for them. They want to b.s. while I am trying to finish up, so I just went with it.



    TS: So you are actually the very first person to use handcuffs while DJing?



    GWT: Yes.



    TS: I say that because I know about Master Don doing it with his sneakers and other objects. In fact, nobody was known for these things. You were the very first DJ to use anything other then your hands?



    GWT: Yeah.


  • *~queenbee~**~queenbee~* Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭
    Not trying to insinuate anything but it seems like @troylsmith doesn't care for GMF. Other than that great interview.
  • bigev240bigev240 Brick City's Finest, South Jersey's Best Posts: 7,125 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    Not trying to insinuate anything but it seems like @troylsmith doesn't care for GMF. Other than that great interview.

    @queenbee yeah it seems GMF rubbed a whole lot folks a bad way because GMF feel that the hip-hop community hopped on GWT nuts when he took DJing to the next level. But GMF was the first to take DJING to a whole new level with his innovations that's why HERC, FLASH, and Theodore are the holy grail for the DJ's techanically.

    KOOL HERC - was the first to extend the breakbeats of albums being played by having two of the same albums because Herc was the first DJ to isolate the instrumental portion of the record which emphasized the drum beat, when the record reached the end of the break, Herc have the same album on another turntable and cue the other album of the same beat to the begining to extend the break beat and the b-boys and b-girls will continue to do their thing and then the emcee's have a longer time to rock on the mic. DJ Kool Herc was the father of the art of sampling and he had Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaatta was under his wing.

    GRANDMASTER FLASH - was a Technical Genius and took DJing to a whole new level he was the first to turn the turntables into a musical instrument, Flash invented the CROSSFADE with using an On/Off toggle switch from an old microphone that he transformed into a left/right switch which allowed him to switch from one turntable to another; switch from record one to record two. In invented CUTTING RECORDS
    and Backspin Technique ("Quick-Mix Theory") a.k.a. Early New York party DJs came to understand that short drum breaks were popular with party audiences. Aiming to isolate these breaks and extend them for longer durations, Grandmaster Flash learned that by using duplicate copies of the same record, he could play the break on one record while searching for the same fragment of music on the other (using his headphones). When the break finished on one turntable, he used his mixer to switch quickly to the other turntable, where the same beat was queued up and ready to play. Using the backspin technique, the same short phrase of music could be looped indefinitely.
    Punch Phrasing ("Clock Theory"): This technique involved isolating very short segments of music, typically horn hits, and rhythmically punching them over the sustained beat using the mixer.

    Even though GWT invented scratching it was GMF who took it world wide because he was world famous then.

    GRAND WIZZARD THEODRE - was the student of GMF and was just a technical battle DJ, he could rocked a party but he was the first to be a battle DJ with skills on the turntable, GWT invented scratching and the needle drop, GWT was the man in NY DJ hip-hop scene
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: Alright this for the fan that never been there: What was it like in the dressing room before ya’ll would go on to perform? Say Harlem World was the dressing room big enough for all of the crew?



    GWT: The dressing room was just enough for us, the Fantastic 5 to get into and chill before the show. Basically in the dressing room we were doing our last minute practicing, and stuff like that. We probably would be smoking our little weed or what ever. And just practicing and making sure everything is tight.



    TS: Who in your opinion were the 5 best DJs, other than yourself?



    GWT: I would definitely say Jazzy Jay, and I would easily give him a 9.

    Then there is Whiz Kid. Whiz Kid was good. I would give him a 9 also.

    Then I would say my man Krazy Eddie.



    TS: Krazy Eddie from the Fearless Four, Word? That’s good.



    GWT: Yeah, Krazy Eddie was a good DJ.



    TS: Yeah, I know he is going to love this when I tell him.



    GWT: He was a good DJ because he not only scratched and DJ'ed, but he mixed too.



    TS: It’s amazing because Tony Tone said he never seen him. I said "How in the world you never seen this dude?" He said he just never seen him. Alright, you got 2 more to go.



    GWT:I would have to say Barry B!



    TS: Barry B? Damn. Everybody is giving him props. Damn, you ain’t lying.



    GWT: Yeah, Barry B is a bad boy. I would give him a 9. Same thing for Krazy Eddie too.



    TS: Who is your 5th?



    GWT: Master Don.



    TS: Master Don! Damn they going to love that, I am working on a story right now about him, I just got finish talking to his mother, Mrs. Martin. Salt of the Earth. She is going to give me pictures and the whole 9. So what was it about him that made you think he was up there with the elite?



    GWT: Well when he DJ'ed it looked like he was having a good time.



    TS: Damn that’s like the Disco King Mariojay.jpg. I heard he used to be dancing while he DJ'ed.



    GWT: Yeah, he also made sure to excite the crowd. I mean you have some DJs that have it and some DJs that just don’t have it, but they think they have it.



    TS: (Troy starts laughing.) What is that undercover low blow?



    GWT: DJing is 50 percent physical, and 50 percent mental, you know what I am saying? If you get up on the turntable and you playing the right record that doesn’t mean that the people are enjoying it. It is how you transition into that record. It is…how can I say it, how you attack the record as you are playing the record. That’s why I always study DJs when I go see them play, because all DJs have weaknesses. You got some DJs that when they DJ, they're not watching the crowd, they just got their head down at the turntables and aren't watching the crowd and seeing if they feeling what they doing. If you're DJing and the crowd is not feeling what you're doing, then you got to go somewhere else.



    TS: Right, move on.



    GWT: But some DJs don’t do that, they act like they still up in their house DJing.


  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: So can you remember what the crowd looked like the first day you did the legendary scratch?



    GWT: Yo, it was up in 63 park, half a block away from where I lived at. Yeah, people was just so hyped. When I created the scratch it wasn’t like it took three, four weeks for me to actually bring it out to the public, it was like an over night thing. The next time when we came out is when I did it. Everybody was like going crazy, people were saying "Oh s---!" You had some people that stopped dancing and came up to the front by the turntables to see what I was doing, other people were like saying its on.



    TS: Other then your Fantastic 5 emcees, who are your top emcees from back then?



    GWT: Mele Melgrandmaster_melle_mel02.jpg, RaheimRahiem-225.jpg, Cowboywigginskeith-cowboy-225.jpg.



    TS: What you just going to say the Furious 5? (as we laugh.)



    GWT: Caz2966_GRANDMASTER_CAZ.jpg and J.D.L.JDL.jpg were my next 2 emcees.



    TS: Looks like you really just talking about original emcees that Dota Rock would call Masters. As if Grand Master’s in the Karate flicks.Alright what about the 5 best DJs of today, since you have been all around the world, and people respect you I know you have seen a whole lot of DJs come and go.



    GWT: Oh man! I have seen a lot of DJs. I would definitely say the X-ecutionersX-ECUTIONERS.jpg.



    TS: That’s a crew of guys right?



    GWT: Yeah, I also say Roc Raidaroc-raida1.jpg.



    TS: I know him, well not personally, but I have heard of him.



    GWT: I would next say DJ Domination.



    TS: I don’t know him.



    GWT: This guy is really crazy, he is like a DJ exhibitionist. He has a video were he bought his turntables to a basketball court and put his turntables right under the net and hung him self upside down from the net and started DJing upside down. It was crazy.



    TS: Damn sure was.



    GWT: Then he did a skit with Heather Hunter, were she put her legs around him and her back was to the mixer and he was DJing holding her up like that.



    TS: Were is he from?



    GWT: Florida.



    TS: Who is the other 3?



    GWT: I would say this guy named Z-Trip. He will mix Elvis with Run-DMC.



    TS: I hear you, and he could make it sound good?



    GWT: He would just mix records together that you wouldn’t think mixed. He will mix Rock and Roll, he will mix Motown s--- with Rock records. He will mix everything!



    TS: The other 2?



    GWT: I would say DJ Q-Bertqbert.png.



    TS: I heard of him.



    GWT: Yeah Q-Bert is bad.



    TS: What separated him from the crowd?



    GWT: Well basically what he does is use 1 turntable.



    TS: What?



    GWT: He will play the beat and he will scratch through out his whole routine. If he plays for 2 hours, he will scratch for two hours.



    TS: The last one?



    GWT: I definitely would say Jam Master Jayjam-master-jay2.jpg



    TS: Jam Master Jay. God bless him. So what is your feelings on Kid Capri632676548_l.jpg and Brucie Beebruciebee.jpg?



    GWT: Capri and Brucie Bee are definitely on. When Disco King Mario used to live up on the Westside (in the Bronx), in Kid Capri’s block in Sedwick Avenue, Capri used to come in the basement and watch me play.



    TS: This was way back, little boy days.



    GWT: Yeah, before he even started DJing, he used to come down and watch me play. He said, “I am going to be a DJ one day.” I said, “Well good luck.”


    TS: I bring up Capri because you spoke about Z Trip saying how he would rock music that other people wouldn’t think of. Capri is some what the same, I heard him rock Jackson 5 records like no one else, I say that because you grew up hearing Jackson 5 songs all your life, he turned it into an art form, so you continue to appreciate the Jackson 5 music.
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    GWT: I say Brucie Bee also because they were somewhat the same. They really knew how to rock a party and he was also from the Roof Top and they, along with Kool Kyle, started that mixtape legacy. Brucie Bee played for my birthday party at Willie's in Harlem (which moved across from the old Disco Fever in the Bronx.) He did his thing.



    TS: On the subject of the movie Wild StyleWild_Style_(film_poster).jpg, how did you and Charlie Ahearn get so cool, you are still kool with him today?



    GWT: Yeah, I still talk to him, his wife and son.



    TS: At that time he treated you like family, am I right?



    GWT: Yeah! We met Charlie Ahearn through Busy Bee.



    TS: And Fab 5 Freddytumblr_lfak5nlntr1qc88eco1_500.jpg?



    GWT: Yeah and Fab 5 Freddy. They met Busy Bee, and he used to bring them around to all the parties and stuff like that. Charlie used to take a lot of pictures and stuff like that, then he decided he wanted to make a movie.



    TS: Why did he pick you to do the sound track to Wild Style? I know this had to be the first time you or any DJ did something like this. So how did you feel doing this when you were not experienced in this field?



    GWT: At that time, I was one of the hottest DJs, and we got pretty close. One day he said, "Since you're doing so many parties and pretty much know what the people want - I don’t want to put none of the original breaks on there, I want to do something totally different." So we went in the studio and I laid down some foundations and they took it from there. I didn’t really just sit in the studio and see the project all the way through, I just laid the foundation down and they did the rest.



    TS: I ask you this because my man JayQuan says he really appreciates how you mix the music to the opening scene. It appears the film was already done and then as you are watching it you’re adding the music into it.



    GWT: They wanted each scene to have certain music, so what I did was watch each scene. The copies of the soundtrack were already pressed up. I already had two. Basically what I did was watch each scene of the movie and put the music to the scene.



    TS: So how did you feel about this music that they presented for you to use?



    GWT: At first I wasn’t feeling the music, because I felt they should have used a lot of the original breaks, but Charlie didn’t want to do that because he would have to clear a lot of samples and they were only working with a certain budget. After time went by I started to get a soft spot for the music.



    TS: I understand. Why were you picked to do that job instead of Flash, Charlie Chase or Kool Herc or somebody like that, being as they were just as popular as you were and older?



    GWT: It probably was the relationship I had with Charlie, we was really close.



    TS: Right off the back ya’ll hit it off soon as ya’ll met?



    GWT: Yeah. Yeah definitely.



    TS: So do you know if Flash was a little slighted since he only had that little piece in his kitchen?



    GWT: I think that was the best scene in the movie.



    TS: It was real hot, I dug it. but I felt because he was Flash he should have gotten a whole lot more, and why weren’t the Furious 5 involved?



    GWT:I really don’t know. I think Busy Bee was the one coaxing Charlie who to put in the movie and who not to put in the movie, I believe.



    TS: But Busy was digging the hell out of Furious too, wasn’t he?



    GWT: Oh yeah but I think being as Flash and them had their records out, it might have been time to let somebody else get some shine.



    TS: How long did it take for them to shoot it?



    GWT: Ah man like two years.



    TS: Two years? I had no idea. It is not like it is a very long movie.



    GWT: What happened was Debra Harry, (Blondie)blondie2.jpg and her husband were the ones that financed the movie. He got sick, Chris Stein her husband. He got so sick it was touch and go for a minute. So the funding for the movie had stopped.



    TS: (Damn almost didn’t have a Wildstyle.)



    GWT: So they put it on hold for like 4 or 5 months then once he got better we resumed with the movie and stuff like that. I feel I should have had more acting parts, but I was pretty much satisfied with what we did.



    TS: How did ya’ll fill up that amphitheater?



    GWT: Basically what we did was send out flyers.and people are always hanging out at the amphitheater so once they seen the cameras and the people... to be honest, most of those people were people that were just walking by and just walked in off the street. I have to say D.ST had the best part at the end, which is really cool.


  • Kwan DaiKwan Dai Posts: 3,761 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Peace. This was a long over due history lesson. Waterproof are these old tapes that have been referrenced during the interview available for purchase, download?
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @kwanDai you know what there's was a site few years ago that sold old tapes from the 80's from the Latin Quaters, old school battles and everything from those that was mention in this interview and the early days of hip-hop imcluding som Kool Herc parties, i will have to go search for that site.

    but in meantime FOR ALL THE HIP-HOP HEADS im going to drop a thread with links to old school hip-hop tapes for downloads im talking about CASH CREW, COLD CRUSH BROTHERS, GRANDMASTER FLASH, EVERY HIP-HOP LEGEND from the 70's to 80's starting in 1977 or i might dropped in here but i will notify you using the @ to let you know, give me a few minutes
  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 8,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2012
    TS: I am going to switch lanes now. What happened in the dispute with Heineken beer?



    GWT: People say I was going to sue them, not true. I never really came out and said I am going to sue them. Today we are trying to educate people about the early days of Hip Hop and who were the true players and stuff like that. For Heineken to go and do something like that was out of order. They never called none of the pioneers to come and do any benefits for them. When they do shows, they don’t call Kool Herc or Afrika Bambaataa or Flash or me to come and M.C. the show or open up for anybody. They never did anything like that. Then they did that little spoof commercial. It's really crazy, because how could you do some commercial like that and make money off of us and you not trying to hire us to come down and do anything. Then when I came down to speak to them, they had their little lawyers there, 3 or 4 of them sitting there. So now the reps are saying “Ueah we at Heineken do a lot of things for Hip Hop and stuff like that.” I said, "You guys don’t do nothing for Hip Hop. You guys do things for Rap. You don’t do anything for Hip Hop. I don’t see Bambaataa, Flash, Herc or myself doing any shows." They said “Well we do basketball games for the kids, baseball games for the kids.” I said. "OK, let me get this correct, just to see if we are on the same page here. You mean to tell me you guys do basketball games for kids 9, 10, 11, 12 years old. You do baseball games for little teenagers, and when they come to the park they see a bunch of Heineken signs all around the field, is that what you are trying to tell me? That doesn’t make any sense.



    TS: What was their response to that?



    GWT: They didn’t know what to say, while I was speaking to them, the lawyers were getting up and walking out one by one, because they knew that my argument was relevant. I said you guys can’t sit here and tell me that you are doing all this stuff for these kids, because when the kids come to the park what they going to see, sponsored by Heineken.



    TS: You are exactly right.



    GWT: That is bull s---. I don’t want my son coming to the park and he see a bunch of Heineken signs.



    TS: (Note: the commercial went like this. The party was rocking and stuff like that and the guy spilled a Heineken bottle on the record then he took a towel and dried off the record while he was drying it, he was mistakenly at first moving the record back and forth, forth and back and it was the scratch. The crowd was going off . It amped the party more. Then the commercial said the scratch started in 1982, another mistake on their part.)



    GWT: I just went there to let them acknowledge that they were wrong for what they did, nothing more.



    TS: What were the turntables you were using back then and the turntables you are using today.



    GWT: We were using Technics back then, the 2300’s. Today you have the pitch control where you push it up or push it down, back then you had the pitch control were you had a little round knob were you twist it. I think they were belt drives back then, today they are direct drives.



    TS: All through your history of DJing how many pair of or single turntables have you had?



    GWT: Ah man! That’s a good one, I don’t know, probably about 10 pair.



    TS: That’s all, 10 pair all your life? So they always go wherever you go?



    GWT: Yeah.



    TS: So do you ever experiment with the CD turntables?



    GWT: Yeah, for sure I have a pair of those as well.



    TS: How many crates of records did you have back then, before

    Wildstyle?



    GWT: Before Wild style I probably had about 60 crates of records.



    TS: 60 crates dam! So how many do you have today, combined?



    GWT: I stopped counting, at about 210 crates. Something like that.



    TS: What are you doing today with yourself?



    GWT: I am just traveling, but when I am in town I work at Jam Master Jay's Scratch Academy.



    TS: Where exactly is that?



    GWT: That is 430 East 9th St and 6th avenue. A block away from Fat Beats record store. (A few more blocks a way from the legendary West 4th basketball courts.)



    TS: So who comes in there, young children? College students?



    GWT: All kind of people come in there. We did a class were juveniles came in there. We had a class were 80, 90 year old people came in. We had them sitting in chairs scratching. It was a sight. I still travel around the world.



    TS: Still doing shows?



    GWT: Yeah, I have been to Malaysia, Afghanistan, Spain, London, France.

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