As you can imagine, labels in the late 1970′s didn’t know what the fuck to do with early rap music. First of all, there was no band. Second, no singers in the conventional sense. Rap was conceived of as a quickly passing novelty at best. The first recorded rap record was King Tim 3 by The Fatback Band, an old school funk band on a major label.
Of course everyone knows that the first “real” rap recording was Rappers Delight by The Sugarhill Gang. However, even that recording was compromised by the fact that The Sugarhill Gang were an artificial band from New Jersey who stole a large portion of their spiel from Grandmaster Caz of the much more legit Cold Crush Brothers.
Ahhh yes, the Cold Crush Brothers, Busy Bee, Lovebug Starski…these are some of the true original rappers. But it wasn’t just about the rappers back then. It was about the DJs as well….and the true innovators of the time were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
But, like I said, labels didn’t know what the fuck to do with this shit back then. So imagine if you will, some lame-ass disco label deciding to cash-in on this “rap thing”. They hire a young band and tell them they need to change their name from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to The Younger Generation. Then this lame-assed label releases the most scorching, killer, insanely brilliant track of its time with the name We Rap More Mellow.
Sounds totally ridiculous eh? Ridiculous but TRUE.
So this is the earliest known recording of Flash and the Five. Note the afro-Latin groove on the timbales. Pure NewYorican / Bronx sound going on in this one.