The Grandmaster of Them All

Depending on your time of entry into hip-hop culture, Grandmaster Caz is either one of the first dope emcees, an old school rapper, the guy The Sugar Hill Gang ripped off or you’ve even never heard of him. Simultaneously he’s all of the above; he’s a living legend, unsung without TVOne, but he’s still here and has a story to tell about The Cold Crush Brothers, “Rapper’s Delight”, that Jay-Z shout-out and industry rule #4080. It’s been thirty years since many of his greatest moments, but his contributions have been indelible and he some knowledge for a new generation of rhymesayers.

The hip-hop story of Grandmaster Caz begins like much of the rest of hip-hop–in 1974 listening to Kool Herc at one of his legendary park jams. Like many that attended those early jams, he was no doubt inspired by the way Herc controlled the crowd and soon purchased his own system and moniker Casanova Fly (you’ve heard the name before). In the early days, the D.J. was the star and the emcee was merely the hype man, praising the D.J. abilities and keeping the crowd moving. Caz, decided that both roles suited him and rocked the mic and the crowd.

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