hip hop music

April 12, 2003

Paul Cashmere, you too must STFU

I might have to change my website's name to "People Who Need To STFU". There are just so many. I mean, look at this guy Paul Cashmere at undercover.com.au:

Warning : Don't Call Grandmaster Flash A Rapper

Grandmaster Flash has considered cancelling his Australia tour all because Undercover called him a rapper.

In an email he writes "The article looks fine but this can cause me to totally CANCEL this tour ... be CLEAR I Grandmaster Flash am NOT a Rapper. I'm a DJ always was always will be. To the journalist who put this together you are causing mass confusion ...I repeat I am NOT a rapper would you please RETRACT and Correct".

The Undercover story of April 4 was actually a glowing statement of his career (we thought). It stated "Australia is about to get the grandmaster rapper of the all Grandmaster Flash. It was exactly 20 years ago when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released 'The Message', one of the most potent raps of all time. The follow-up a year later 'White Lines' is also now a rap classic". We thought we paid tribute to the man who is credited with being part of the very first rap song to make the Australian chart.

That wasn't good enough though. That "grandmaster rapper" comment, it would appear, was enough to make the 80's DJ throw a grandmaster wobbly.

...Okay, so we are sorry for calling you a rapper Mr Flash but wait … let me quote The Rolling Stone Encyclopaedia of Rock and Roll (Third Edition). "Disco DJ Grandmaster Flash and his rap group the Furious Five were the premier DJ-rap team of the early 80's". So it appears we aren't alone. Even Rolling Stone equates you with rap.

We did try and point out to the Flashy that Australian culture is quite different to the urban culture of the streets of New York and what are considered various genres in the US are often rolled into one in Australia, but hey, this is getting all too hard.

Here is the e-mail I just sent in response:

TO: paul@undercover.com.au

Granted, Grandmaster Flash was being a bit of a prima donna when he threatened to cancel his tour over your magazine's errant reference to him as a "rapper". But as errors go, that was indeed a doozy, and I'm afraid your attempt at a retraction (if that's even what it was) made you sound even more clueless.

This reference to the Rolling Stone book only serves to compound your folly. The quote you cite does nothing to bolster your case, as it does not call him a rapper. It merely states he was in a rap group, which is correct. Flash was not offended that you "equated him with rap", he would have no problem with that.

In case you still haven't figured this out: Rolling Stone called his group a "rap-dj team" because everyone in a rap group is not a rapper. "Rapper" is what you call the vocalist. The one who raps, get it? Grandmaster Flash was not a rapper, he was a DJ. The DJ is one who spins the records. Still will me? Grandmaster Flash is possibly the most important DJ of all time.

So this is not a matter of confusing obscure sub-genres. Calling Flash a rapper is the equivalent of calling Yo-Yo Ma a tuba player. It's not only disrespectful, it just plain makes you look dumb.

Jay Smooth, WBAI in NY

P.S. - You should really just STFU.

Posted by jsmooth995 at April 12, 2003 1:47 AM

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