1981 - A Year In Rap

So, we move on to the events of 1981, produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew’s ‘Hip Hop Timeline’, here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1981:- Punk / Rock group Blondie release “Rapture”, a track on which singer Debbie Harry raps, name-checking members of the New York hip hop community Fab 5 Freddy and Grand Master Flash (pictured above). Grandmaster Flash goes on to sample the record in his “Adventures of Flash on the Wheels of Steel”.

- Later the same year Grand Master Flash releases the seminal “Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”, the first DJ led record of its kind.

- Funky Four plus One make their first national TV appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live

- DJ Whiz Kid wins the New Music Seminar DJ battle.

- Cold Crush 4 battle the Fantastic 5 at the Harlem World club. Fantastic 5 win the closely contested and controversial battle.

- On March 6th, “Flash vs Crash” takes place at the Audobon Ballroom, featuring the huge line up of DJ AJ, Afrika Bambaataa, Soul Sonic Force, Cosmic Force and Fantastic 5.

- NOC paints the famous “Style Wars” top to bottom whole car.

- The Fashion Moda gallery on 3rd Avenue in the Bronx runs exhibitions featuring the likes of Crash, Lee, Daze, Kel Shy 147 and others.

- Rock Steady Crew battle Dynamic Rockers at the Lincoln Center. The dance clash is covered by National Geographic.

- Locker / Popper “Cool Pockets” from the dance group Chain Reaction appears in the video for Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” single.

Classic Material