This rare Grandmaster Flowers set from ’79 has been floating around, but this is the first time I’m hearing the story involving X-Clan finding the legend on the streets and bringing him on the road as their soundman. via 238 Beats, peace to Essential Elements



Back in the 90’s the name Grandmaster Flowers was just an urban legend. As you’ve written on your tape list Troy, Flowers died because of his addiction, he lived his last days as a panhandler. Paradise of X CLan told me this story:

“In Brooklyn, Flowers was to brothers in Brooklyn what Kool Herc was to brothers in the Bronx. Everybody loved and followed Flowers. Lumumba (Professor X – God Rest His Soul) loved Flowers!

One day we were either coming off tour or going on tour. The group was really blowing up. We were riding around midtown Manhattan, when all of a sudden Lumumba said, “Stop the car!”

All Lumumba could say was “Oh stuff…oh stuff!’

He got out and walked toward a brother with a sign in his hand. The guy was really down on his luck and was in bad shape. He bought him back to the car and introduced him to us. He said, ‘This is Grandmaster Flowers!”

Lumumba was speaking to us about the jams and how hard Flowers used to rock and then he looked at him and lunged at him. I had to hold him back. Lumumba was crying, he kept saying, ‘How could you do this to yourself? How could you do this to yourself! Don’t you know that your responsible for all of this we’re doing now!”

We cleaned Flowers up and took him on tour with us, he was our sound man.”

Yo fellas, I saw X Clan a few times back in the day, I had no idea that the dude that was setting their equipment up was the legendary Grandmaster Flowers, the man that bears the distinction of being of one of – if not THE first Black mobile disc jockey in New York City to mix (blend) records as we know it today.



  1. conga (Reply) on Dec 3, 2008

    kool

  2. Satoshi (Reply) on Jan 13, 2009

    nice set with good music

  3. IRVING (Reply) on Feb 9, 2009

    Hey Flowers was the man the system was power ful turn the parks out and as the said made the fish in the sea dance at riis beach

  4. DJ LESLIE-G (Reply) on Apr 21, 2010

    I USED TO WORK WITH FLOWERS ON SOME OF HIS SOUND SYSTEMS,HE HAD PLENTY OF SOUND SYSTEMS. HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO HOOK A SOUND SYSTEM THE RIGHT WAY. I’M DJ LESLIE-G FROM RED-HOOK BKLYN!!! R.I.P. ‘THE GRANDMASTER FLOWERS.

    • Jasz (Reply) on Apr 13, 2014

      Peace bro……what was the name of the Red Hook crew that used to rock Red Hook. All I remember is one of the MC’s name was A-Mar……he used to make folks call hisname!! He would say…..”Say A-Mar”. Do you remember the name of that crew? Here’s something from my archives you should enjoy….http://www.4shared.com/music/slT71q7…e.html

  5. stories (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    great compilation

  6. Zebulon The Griot (Reply) on Dec 14, 2010

    Thanks for this article and vintage set. Grandmaster Flowers was an uncrowned legend. He didn’t get the props he deserved in those days because he was from Brooklyn (Bronx Rule: the further south you went from the Bronx, the weaker the music was…just ask the Fatback Band….sad!) Anyhow, Flowers taught my uncle how to D.J.: Disco Tee out of Coney Island. Flowers Forever!!!!

  7. Wax Assassin (Reply) on Jan 8, 2011

    I have been a DJ since the mid 90s and ashamed to say i never heard of flowers till just this night, thank you for posting this mix i think it is amazing, what a sad end to such an amazing human being. such a shame he did not hold in longer he may have got the respect he deserved in the world of music. truly a artifact mix tapes like this are true gems.

  8. Divine Allah (Reply) on Jan 29, 2011

    great post up and great responses as well. brooklyn never got and will never get the props for our contributions to the origins of hip hop on all levels. djing graffiti mc’s dancing. i could list so many legendary mcs djs & crews from the brook. the truth of the matter was that by the mid 80s more hit rappers came from brooklyn queens long island. even philly had more hot rap acts than the bx. and manhattan. while the bx. would have been silent during the golden age if it wasn’t for BDP. Ditto for manhattan minus The Get Fresh Crew. All them “uptown pioneers” know the truth. i’m from BK but we can’t front Queens’ has been owner of the hip hop crown since juice crew days til now.

  9. […] man didn’t throw ‘em jams by Sedgwick Houses in the Bronx. Oh yeah, lets not leave out Grandmaster Flowers RIP, he doesn’t get any respect either. Yeah, I know some of you may disagree but you more […]

  10. DJ MR. ROBERT (Reply) on Jun 11, 2011

    I REMEMBER WHEN FLOWERS ROCKED IN KINGSBORO PROJECTS HE WAS TIGHT WITH MY UNCLE LEROY RIDDICK AKA BINGO, GRAND MASTER FLOWERS WAS THE BADDEST DJ EVER BUT IF U WAS NOT REALLY FROM THE REAL OLD SKOOL U WOULD NOT KNOW THAT, JUST ASK DJ HOLLYWOOD HE CAN REALLY TELL YOU HE WAS THERE ! THIS IS WHY OLD SKOOL MUSIC WILL ALWAYS RULE, DJ,S NEED TO LEARN HOW TO MIX AND KEEP THE GROOVE AND STOP CHOPPING THE RECORD UP…..I LOVE UR COMMENT LESLIE G..KUDOS !

  11. Slinke - Originator of The Up Rock dance craze (Reply) on Oct 18, 2011

    Yes , Yes God rest his soul hip -hop historians I Use to carry the equipment and set it Up for ,The Grandmaster Flowers me and 5 other rock dancers also started the dancers in the clubs to start break dancing , when Flowers use to put on all the Upbeat dime pieces of music he use to play I was moon lighting from my disco dance troupe called the IND Dancers and everybody had big , big love for Flowers once Flower’s name appear on a flyer you can bet people were at the club way before he himself showed up they were like camping out waiting on The Grand Master, shout out to The Maboya Dancers The City Steppers…. Salute !

    • hi can you ghet in contact with me 9177536319 i am reserching uprock dance i wana interview you ,,,,,tiny1love2000@yahoo.com

  12. BigKev308 (Kandy /rapper) (Reply) on Dec 22, 2011

    RIP to the legend. All love and respect due to the brothers that set a multi-billion dollar industry in motion. Don’t forget Maboya either. Those were the names running this game at one time. I love them for creating something that gave a lot of us thirty seconds of fame and priceless memories. Tell the babies who opened those doors. Much love to the X-Clan for BEING who they said they were cause we all know…it ain’t always like that. OneLove, Big Hodge, Strong Island

  13. Cmor (Africa 131) (Reply) on Jan 27, 2012

    As a kid in Brooklyn in 70s, I remember having a Grandmaster Flowers tape. Now I wished I kept that tape. Grandmaster Flowers was part of what we now call Hip-Hop. Brooklyn stand up! Names like Grandmaster Flowers, Jazzy Jay, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambatta and others are names we need to record in Hip-Hop history.

  14. great mix thank you , we need more information on Flowers he is a legendary DJ , he opend for James Brown in YankeSTadium ,you can not ghet better than that , i reserching Brooklyn DJs and the Uprock Dance , actualy the dance called Rock Dance any info ghet at me tiny1love2000@yahoo.com , 9177536319

  15. DJ Prince (Reply) on Feb 28, 2013

    Everyone from the early 70’s remembers Flowers. True DJ’s will give respect where due.

    I started out in East New York with a pair of Technics SL 1100’s. Those are classic.

    We use to have block parties next door to the house where Brass Construction started out.

  16. reno (Reply) on Jun 13, 2013

    this is some of Flowers but one transition was not him. It must have been one of his many students. The Grandmaster was way smoother and creative with the mix. The intro with “Hot Shot” and the other blend back to Hot Shot was him but not the next transition after to the other track. The thing with Flowers was programing the more I listen the more I know this is not all him. He had many proteges. The stabbing mix of the Foxy record shows it’s not him as well. Nice tape though.
    I was the Grandmaster’s roadie form 1973 to 77′ and it’s not even his voice on the tape it must have been his many MCs trying to rap. Flowers would never rap over a beat. He would do this thing with his mouth like a hi hat so you could get the effect from the bullet tweeters he also had a signature saying “Like a mosquito in a tuxedo” I didn’t hear this. The second voice is his when he says in Stereo.

  17. Antique Unique (Reply) on May 18, 2014

    Kool Herc I give much love & respect for shouting out Grandmaster Flowers in one of his articles. Because Grandmaster Flowers was a true icon to hip hop culture. He was cutting records in the parks 1968 or 1969. Before all the DJ’s iin the bronx, manhattan, or queens. My name is Antique Unique.

  18. Michael A DeCrumpe (Reply) on May 27, 2016

    Flowers was my mentor. I worked with him in the mid 70’s. There are so many inaccuracies I have read, and I really don’t have the space to clear it all up here. He was so in demand in the mid 70’s that he was often double booked. I had the honor of playing those second bookings. During that time period he was based at the record store “The Music Hut” at 712A Franklin Avenue Brooklyn NY. Flowers during his hey day often gigged from Wednesday through Saturday night. Sometime doing weddings on Saturday. His concept as far as sound systems were concerned was to make it sound like your living room.In my opinion he surpassed that ideal. His mixing skills were great as well. R.I.P. Grandmaster
    PowerPlant

  19. motoapk thanks (Reply) on Apr 22, 2017

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog post.Much thanks again. Great.

  20. I had the honor of playing against Grandmaster Flowers on many occasions. He was an innovator and mixologist. Unfortunately, after help spearhead the DJ mobile movement. He never got the credit he deserved.