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DJ Flash brings his 'Mash' mix to radio

April 11, 2005|Randy Lewis

Pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash was overlooked this year by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he hasn't been overlooked elsewhere.

Sirius Satellite Radio is giving the DJ -- one of the creators of the landmark 1982 rap single "The Message," which almost single-handedly brought a social conscience to hip-hop music -- his own radio show.

His "Flash Mash" mix show premieres Saturday on the satellite network's Boombox Channel 61. It will feature a broad mix of music, similar to the approach Flash and the Furious Five brought to rap in the '70s.

"I've done various radio shows, but I've never been given the green light to play whatever I wanted," Flash said. "I said I would like to do [this show] in the 1971 template which I invented, combining pop, rock, jazz blues, funk, R&B, house and techno. They said, 'Go ahead.' "

That combination, fused with the social commentary Flash and the Furious Five injected into "The Message" and subsequent works, led many pop aficionados to think of the group as a Hall of Fame shoo-in.

Although Flash didn't get enough votes from the 1,000 record company executives, musicians and critics during his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, he isn't complaining: "In my mind I thought maybe it might not happen this time. When I heard the O'Jays went in, I was so happy for them. I'm pretty happy for the nomination itself. It puts hip-hop in a whole other level.... In a chronological sense, if anybody [from hip-hop] is going to go in, we should go in first."

As the name of his show suggests, Flash will be spinning mash-ups, the current rave.

"I think hip-hop is the only music that integrates rock, pop, jazz, blues and R&B, but radio has become very sectioned. I just came back from doing a tour in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, and it's amazing how you can hear all this on one radio station -- not just in a mix but regularly played," he said. "So when I was asked to do a mix show, this gives me a chance to play whatever I want and reteach the rest of the world where this came from."

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