The Message

“Don’t push me, ’cause I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head…”

While we can’t technically express our ♥ for the #2 song on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time (The Sugarhill Gang’s seminal “Rapper’s Delight” debuted four months too early, in September 1979), we can talk about #1. And, man, do we ♥ it.

Generally when lists like that come out there’s always debate about the top entry…but not this time. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” is, and will always be, the best, most influential, and all out dope-ist hip-hop track ever. Period.

Aside from using one of the funkiest (and most widely-sampled) riffs in hip-hop, it was the first rap record to actually talk about inner-city life in all its un-glory. Until “The Message” rap was mostly self-congratulatory boasts and/or disses of other sucka MCs. But with lyrics like:

Rats in the front room, roaches in the back,
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat,
I tried to get away, but I couldn’t get far,
‘Cause a man with a tow truck repossessed my car.

…mainstream America not only got a vivid picture of a whole other world, but fellow rappers also realized they had a real platform for speaking the truth and subsequently affecting some change.

It was, after all, called “The Message” for a reason…

Chart-wise, “The Message” didn’t do too much, peaking at #53 in November 1982 and spending a total of 24 weeks on the chart, but it’s impact on society (and the rap world, in particular) can’t be overstated. Public Enemy’s Chuck D said it best, calling “The Message” a total knock out of the park.

We couldn’t agree more.

“It’s like a jungle sometimes. It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under.”

We ♥ Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message”.

~ by weheart80s on July 3, 2017.

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