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Song IconGrandmaster Flash "The Message"

About "The Message"

"The Message" is a song by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It was released as a single by Sugar Hill Records on July 1, 1982, and was later featured on the group's debut studio album of the same name.

"The Message" was an early prominent hip hop song to provide social commentary. The song's lyrics describe the stress of inner-city poverty. In the final verses a child born in the ghetto without prospects in life is lured away into a life of crime, for which he is jailed until he commits suicide in his cell. The song ends with a brief skit in which the band members are arrested for no clear reason."The Message" took rap music from the house parties of its origin to the social platforms later developed by groups like Public Enemy and KRS-One. Melle Mel said in an interview with NPR: "Our group, like Flash and the Furious Five, we didn't actually want to do 'The Message' because we was used to doing party raps and boasting how good we are and all that."The song was first written in 1980 by Duke Bootee and Melle Mel, in response to the 1980 New York City transit strike, which is mentioned in the song's lyrics. Melle Mel's verse, starting with the line "A child is born with no state of mind, blind to the ways of mankind" was taken from the early Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five track "Superrappin'" from 1979 on the Enjoy label.

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