100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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49. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel"

"I was just one big human sampler," Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler once said of his groundbreaking record-mixing technique. And the Grandmaster never cut faster than on the record that established the hip-hop DJ as a new kind of pop musician. Flash's days as a DJ date back to 1974, when he and other kids who were too young to get into discos began playing at house parties and block parties in their South Bronx neighborhoods. He was also an electronics geek who eventually came up with his own unique setup: using three turntables, a crossfader (a device he helped pioneer) and his own grab bag of frenetic moves. On "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel," 23-year-old Flash created a continuous party jam by splicing, scratching and, in a sense, reinventing records – "the short, climactic parts that really grabbed me," he recalled. Chic, Blondie and Queen all make appearances in the mix, and Flash even threw in early rap hits by Spoonie Gee and his own crew, the Furious Five. Self-promotion never sounded so smooth.

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