Friday, April 5, 2019

Fantastic Five

In Grandmaster Flash’s early days, his partner was “Mean Gene” Livingston.  Gene had a younger brother (who together were known as the L Brothers) that used to practice with Flash named Theodore.

Theodore eventually went on to become GrandWizard Theodore and is credited with inventing two dominant deejay techniques- scratching and the needle drop.  Not a bad thing for ones resume.

It was in the summer of 1975 as he tells the story, “I used to come home from school everyday and play records. This one particular day, my mother banged on the door yelling at me because the music was too loud. When she walked in, I still had my hand on the record that was playing and I kind of moved it back and forth.  When she left, I was like ‘Yo! That sounded kind of cool. I better experiment with that.'”

His initiative to take this accident and recognize it as a means of making original music was pure creative innovation. “I always wanted to be different from other DJs. I kept perfecting my idea so that when I did it in front of an audience it would sound dope.”

In 1978, Whipper Whip and Dot-a-Rock were in a group called The Mighty Gestapo Crew (with DJ Kenny B (Kenny Baker) and Count D) and the Funky Phase Four MC’s.  The battled a crew named The Notorious Two (who’s members included Grandmaster Caz and JDL of the Cold Crush Brothers) at the Intersession Church on 155th Street and Broadway.

Whipper Whip and Dot-A-Rock were also original members of the Cold Crush Brothers.

They are often referred to as the Fantastic Freaks or Fantastic Romantic 5.

They battle many crews of the time most notably the Cold Crush Brothers.

They put out the 12″ “Can I Get A Soul Clap” in 1980 which is still currently available on Tuff City Records.

The group never recorded an album, however, they do appear in the film Wild Style, and on the recently released battle tape against Cold Crush at Harlem World in 1981.

Kevie Kev signed with Sugar Hill Records for a brief period and released the classic single, “All Night Long” in the midsummer of 1983.  Mr. Magic co-produced it under the name, M2 (actually M squared).

Prince Whipper Whip appeared in the Ice-T video for High-Rollers.

The GrandWizard continues to rock parties internationally and teaches DJ master classes. He was inducted into the Technics DJ Hall of Fame in 1998.  Theodore has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the International  Turntablists Federation and “Back to Mecca”. GrandWizard served as an esteemed panelist at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Hip Hop Conference in 1999 and when the exhibit traveled to the Brooklyn Museum of  Art, in 2000, he taught a phenomenal DJ Master Class, with up and coming DJ Perseus. GrandWizard Theodore is also featured in the DJ documentary  “Scratch” which recently premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.


Grand Wizard Theodore (Theodore Livingston)
Waterbed Kev (Kevin Strong)
Master Rob (Robin Strong)
Prince Whipper Whip (James Whipper)
Ruby Dee (Rubin Garcia)
Dot-A-Rock (Darryl Mason)


Can I get a Soul Clap


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