Diplo has shared details about working with and performing alongside Grandmaster Flash, and the list of requirements that comes with it.
The Major Lazer producer and Chris Rock escaped Burning Man this past week by hitching a ride with some strangers after unexpected rains stranded attendees in the middle of the Nevada desert, and footage of the pair talking about Grandmaster Flash during their trip has now surfaced.
When I play with [Flash], he gives you a list of 400 songs you can’t play,” Diplo revealed. “And ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is on the list. Like stuff like that, you’re like, ‘Alright.’ But he’s literally like, ‘These are all my songs I play, don’t play any of these.’”
Prior to that, Chris Rock himself talked about pursuing DJing before comedy, admitting that he would’ve never quit if he knew making money from it was possible. “That DJs would actually make money, I would’ve never told a joke,” he said as those around him laughed. “It was like this is a fucking dead end — turntables, backspinnin,’ whatever.”
Grandmaster Flash has long been celebrated as one of the originators of Hip Hop, but he’s not pleased with self-proclaimed fans who don’t know their history.
In an interview with Shade 45 in mid-June, the Furious Five leader educated the hosts a little while also dragging enthusiasts who didn’t include the important players in their 50th-anniversary celebrations of Hip Hop.
Can you verbalize to this?” he began. “There was one gentleman — just one — who had this nursery rhyme type of style. And we met, briefly. And then, when I went to go visit my girlfriend, he was there. He was dating the older sister, and I was dating the younger one. So, we meet again. And the next time I played in the park, I ask him to try. And this is where the rapper was born.”
He continued: “His name was Keith Wiggins, also known as ‘Cowboy.’ […] The rest of the Five is history. But I just wanted to say, like, thank you for this, Sway. Yes, I know we have a lot to talk about. But Hip Hop is 50 years old. And do you know, out of all the interviews I’ve been listening to, nobody’s talking about where this started!
Nobody’s talking about the DJs. Nobody’s talking about the incredible producers, who put these incredible songs together. Because, I’m telling you, I’ll put my life on this, that any one of you rappers could not have written these dope ass rhymes [without them].”