Grandmaster Flash attends the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

'Grandmaster Flash Said' - 6 Quotes From Hip-Hop's Premiere DJ

'Grandmaster Flash Said' - 6 Quotes From Hip-Hop's Premiere DJ

Published Thu, August 24, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT

If DJ Kool Herc sparked the DJ element of Hip-Hop and Afrika Bambaataa cultivated it, then Grandmaster Flash and his Quick Mix Theory, which enabled him to seamlessly extend breakdown portions of records perfected it.

With his group The Furious 5, Flash exemplified the DJ/MC dynamic with electrifying stage performances and successfully transferred that energy to records. "Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel" released in 1981, marked the first time that scratch mixing was committed to record and this record was an introduction to the art form for people all over the world.

Grandmaster Flash is a literal scientist, using his God-given electro mechanical skills, combined with his education from Samuel Gompers Vocational and Technical School in The Bronx, to create several DJ theories that turned into techniques that revolutionized modern day DJing.

American Songwriter recently compiled a list of Flash's best quotes. We've included some of them here.

“I knew there was a way to blend records together, but I didn’t know how to. This was haunting me when I was in my teens. In my frustration, I decided to start experimenting with electronics. I tested the torque factor on different turntables. I had to figure needles out.”

"If there is a record I don’t have, I haven’t heard it yet. My collection is always growing, but I can’t really play it anywhere—no promoter is willing to pay for my crates of vinyl to fly with me, so I have a team of people to digitize it all."

"Before this DJ thing, I was hopelessly taking things apart to try to figure out how they worked. I’d go mess around with burned-out cars, with my mom’s stereo—I was public enemy No. 1 in my house for that. So my mom noticed that I was interested in this and decided to send me to school so I’d know what I was doing.”

Grandmaster Flash poses with his back turned. Grandmaster Flash poses with his back turned.

“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."

“I was a quiet, nerdy kid living in the Bronx. I spent most of my teens in my room, taking apart electrical items to figure out how they worked before putting them back together and listening to the music my four older sisters and parents played.”

“Normal kids in their teens want to go and date girls and do mischievous things, your hormones are jumping around, but I stayed in my bedroom in search of something.”

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