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Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "The Message" (1982)

Amelia Stubblefield Sydney Smith Nina Murov William Hager
by Amelia Stubblefield on 1 February 2013

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Transcript of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "The Message" (1982)

WHAT BOUNDARY IS THE ARTIST REACTING TO:
Most rap songs to date were upbeat club hits and “The Message,” was one of the first songs that was real and talked about real issues going on in the black community, like crime and poverty
This song is also breaking the racial boundary, because it’s exposing the lives of young black people
Also sexual boundaries because this song has a lot of references to homosexual men, which was a big thing in the 80’S due to the outbreak of AIDS Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five-"The Message"(1982) Beginning of AIDS pandemic
Gay rights became more widely spread throughout the western world
In 1984 crack cocaine reached American cities and the marked the start of the crack epidemic
Severe global economic recession
Boundaries- politics, race, wealth status, location dominance, power, sexuality, health (AIDS) Chorus:
Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head, ah huh-huh-huh
[2nd and 5th: ah huh-huh-huh]
[4th: say what?]
It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
The artists are saying than they’re close to the breaking point, and any little thing could push them over the edge. The line about the “urban jungle,” is repeated. Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don't care
I can't take the smell, I can't take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with the baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far
Cause a man with a tow-truck repossessed my car
This stanza describes “the hood,” and the nonchalant attitude of the people that live there. There are roaches and rats in people’s apartments, and drug addicts all around. If they could leave, they would, but they don’t have the money. Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Melle Mel (Melvin Glover) and Kid Creole (AKA Kidd Creole/Nathaniel Glover) Rahiem (Guy Todd Williams, previously in the Funky Four) and Scorpio (Eddie Morris, a.k.a. Mr. Ness Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five 1980's Social Situation The Song Influential Hip-Hop group formed in 1978
South Bronx of New York
1 DJ (Grandmaster Flash), 5 rappers
1977, the group started to perform regularly at the Disco Fever in the Bronx, it was one of the first times that a hip-hop group was given a weekly gig at a well-known venue
Boundaries that affected them were poverty in the inner-city, and other social and economic barriers
The group pioneered MCing and freestyle battles Amelia Stubblefield
Sydney Smith
Nina Murov
William Hager
My son said: "Daddy I don't wonna go to school
Cause the teacher's a jerk!", he must think I'm a fool
And all the kids smoke reefer, I think it'd be cheaper
If I just got a job, learned to be a street sweeper
I'll dance to the beat, shuffle my feet
Wear a shirt and tie and run with the creeps
Cause it's all about money, ain't a damn thing funny
You got to have a con in this land of milk and honey
They pushed that girl in front of the train
Took her to the doctor, sewed her arm on again
Stabbed that man right in his heart
Gave him a transplant for a brand new start
I can't walk through the park, cause it's crazy after dark
Keep my hand on my gun, cause they got me on the run
I feel like a outlaw, broke my last glass jar
Hear them say: "You want some more livin' on a seesaw?"
His son is no longer interested in school because of his teacher’s lack of faith in him, and all the other kids just smoke weed, so instead he aims to get an easy working job. Surviving is all that matters, and money is needed to survive. New York City is full of crime and violence, you can’t even be by yourself because something may go down.
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