By Frank James IV
Fresh Fest II was a great time and a great concert with wonderful performances. The concert featured: Whodini, Run DMC, The Fat Boys, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five.
It was an outstanding concert where all the performers seemed to be trying to outshine the other acts. Whodini stole the show by coming on stage riding Honda Elite mopeds. It also didn’t hurt that their DJ, Grand Master Dee, was the coldest DJ on the card.
But, if we are reflecting on rap music, a true reflection from FJIV would come from a few years earlier. I was riding with my Grandfather, Booker T Redmond Sr., and we were laughing about nothing when a song came on the radio. The beat was Good Times by Chic. The difference was there was a man talking over the beat telling a story. Granddaddy and I listened as he drove. Of course Granddaddy started snapping his fingers and clowning, making me laugh. But, I later found out the song was Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang. That was the beginning of rap music in my world and I’m sure millions of other people in the USA. It is sad that what started out as MC’s battling on the mic has de-evolved into crass materialism, exploitation and misery. Yet, there will always be that memory of a young boy and his grandfather riding and listening to a cool song that eventually changed the music industry.