Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee ‎– The Message

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The Message (Vocal) 7:11
The Message (Instrumental) 7:11

Versions (46)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
SH-584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH-584 US 1982 Sell This Version
101.8255 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message (A Mensagem)(7") RCA 101.8255 Brazil 1982 Sell This Version
OOS-562 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Mensaje)(12") Zafiro OOS-562 Spain 1982 Sell This Version
OOS-562 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Mensaje)(12", Promo) Zafiro OOS-562 Spain 1982 Sell This Version
OOX-565 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Mensaje)(7") Zafiro OOX-565 Spain 1982 Sell This Version
OOX-565 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message (Mensaje)(7", Promo) Zafiro OOX-565 Spain 1982 Sell This Version
SHL 117 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SHL 117 UK 1982 Sell This Version
SH 584 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH 584 US 1982 Sell This Version
6.20 152, 6.20152 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records, Sugar Hill Records 6.20 152, 6.20152 Germany 1982 Sell This Version
SHL 117 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SHL 117 UK 1982 Sell This Version
SH-584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH-584 US 1982 Sell This Version
SOSM 1131 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sound Of Scandinavia SOSM 1131 Sweden 1982 Sell This Version
SH 584 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH 584 US 1982 Sell This Version
SHX 201 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SHX 201 Italy 1982 Sell This Version
SH-584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH-584 US 1982 Sell This Version
SHL 117 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SHL 117 UK 1982 Sell This Version
SH 584 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH 584 US 1982 Sell This Version
SH 584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH 584 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
SH 584-P Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Sugar Hill Records SH 584-P Portugal 1982 Sell This Version
SOS M-1131 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") SOS Recording SOS M-1131 Sweden 1982 Sell This Version
SH-584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12", Promo) Sugar Hill Records SH-584 US 1982 Sell This Version
TDS-118 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12", Single) RCA Victor TDS-118 Australia & New Zealand 1982 Sell This Version
310953 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12", Single, Ltd) Sugar Hill Records, Vogue 310953 France 1982 Sell This Version
310953 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12", Single, Ltd) Sugar Hill Records, Vogue 310953 France 1982 Sell This Version
SH 117 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(7") Sugar Hill Records SH 117 UK 1982 Sell This Version
SH 787 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Featuring Melle Mel And Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Featuring Melle Mel And Duke Bootee - The Message(7", Promo) Sugar Hill Records SH 787 US 1982 Sell This Version
CBSA-3232 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(7", Single) CBS CBSA-3232 Greece 1982 Sell This Version
6.13 611, 6.13611 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(7", Single) Sugar Hill Records, Sugar Hill Records 6.13 611, 6.13611 Germany 1982 Sell This Version
104093 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(7", Single) RCA Victor 104093 Australia & New Zealand 1982 Sell This Version
6.13 611 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(7", Single) Sugar Hill Records 6.13 611 US 1982 Sell This Version
SH 117 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(7", Single) Sugar Hill Records SH 117 UK 1982 Sell This Version
104089 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(7", Single) RCA Victor 104089 Australia & New Zealand 1982 Sell This Version
101696 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(7", Single) Sugar Hill Records 101696 France 1982 Sell This Version
VG 108 101696 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(7", Single) Sugar Hill Records VG 108 101696 1982 Sell This Version
104093 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(7", Single, MP) RCA Victor 104093 Australia & New Zealand 1982 Sell This Version
6.20912 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12", RE) Sugar Hill Records 6.20912 Germany 1988 Sell This Version
0630 10095-2 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message '95 (Die Fantastischen Vier Remix)(CD, Maxi) EastWest, Sugar Hill Records 0630 10095-2 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
0630-10095-0 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message 95' (Die Fantastischen Vier Remix)(12") EastWest, Sugar Hill Records 0630-10095-0 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
PLP-6317 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5* The Message(12") P-Vine Records PLP-6317 Japan 1996 Sell This Version
DEEP12 001 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(12") Deepbeats DEEP12 001 UK 1997 Sell This Version
R0 72449, B-BOY 1997 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* The Message(12", RE) Rhino Records (2), Sugar Hill Records R0 72449, B-BOY 1997 US 1997 Sell This Version
DEEPCD001 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message(CD, Maxi) Deepbeats DEEPCD001 UK 1997 Sell This Version
ANTTW010 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Paul Nice's Super Duty Bootleg Mash Up)(12") Antidote ANTTW010 UK 2004 Sell This Version
SH-584 Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five* Feat.: Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - The Message(12", Unofficial) Sugar Hill Records SH-584 US 2004 Sell This Version
FLASH 1 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Cutting Edge Mixes)(12", W/Lbl) Not On Label (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five) FLASH 1 UK Unknown Sell This Version
FLASH 2 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (Untitled's Nothin' Touchin' The Original Mix)(12", S/Sided, W/Lbl) Not On Label FLASH 2 UK Unknown Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

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Masterdavid

Masterdavid

July 2, 2015
referencing The Message, 12", SH-584
Classic hiphop back in middle school you had to know all the words to this song
lachansonivre

lachansonivre

May 27, 2013
edited over 2 years ago
referencing The Message, 12", SH 584
Interviews by Caroline Sullivan
The Guardian, Monday 27 May 2013 17.18 BST

Jiggs Chase, co-producer

One night, I was over at [rapper] Ed Fletcher's house and I said: "We need to write something." He was lying on the couch smoking a joint with one leg over the edge, and he said: "Don't push me, 'cos I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to lose my head." And I said: "Oh my goodness – whoa!" We knew he'd just come up with the hook for a song.

Sylvia Robinson [head of Sugar Hill, Grandmaster Flash's label] had this concept of The Message: she wanted a serious song to show what was happening in society, but hadn't been able to get it together. So we told her what we had and added: "It sounds like a hit." Then all we had to do was come up with some music and write the verses. Ed did all that except for writing the final one, which was done by Melle Mel: he was the only member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five who actually had anything to do with the song, even though the band got the credit. Melle was the best rapper in the group, too, but Ed still had to show him how to do it. "You should rap on it, too!" Sylvia said. And he did.

I knew we had something. I knew it would make some noise. But I didn't know it would be quite so big. Ed was talking about what was happening out there. Rap was music for boasting and bragging, but he took it in another direction. He took a chance – and it broke the mould. The Message got hip-hop taken seriously. There were always lots of rap groups, but they couldn't get record deals. The Message also helped hip-hop get a white audience. In Europe, we had more of a white audience than a black one.

The song went up the charts and, since then, the cheques have gotten bigger, because people keep using it. It was used in Happy Feet, P Diddy used it, and Ice Cube. I'm still getting paid.

The neighbourhood I was living in, the things I saw – it was like a jungle sometimes in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Even though we lived in a nice area, I'd sit in the living room and watch things happening across the street in the park. The lyrics were sort of cinematic: I tried to hold a message up to society.

Rappers then were in their late teens and made feelgood, upbeat songs to party to, so this was completely new. Luckily, Sylvia had the force and foresight to put it out. Grandmaster Flash himself wasn't on the song. He didn't think people wanted to hear that shit. Melle Mel was so mad about that.

Musically and lyrically, I wanted to do something different. A lot of thought went into it. I used to call it trance music – the melody has an asymmetric structure, but the bassline stays the same throughout. Usually, a song has one hook and verses, but "Don't push me, 'cos I'm close to the edge" is one hook and "It's like a jungle sometimes" is another. At the time, I was listening to Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, so I used a lot of electronic effects and percussion sounds.

The first inkling I had that it would be big was when we did the mix. Sylvia was into numerology, and The Message ran to seven minutes and 11 seconds, which she thought was lucky for some reason. "I have a feeling about this," she said. That night, she took it to Frankie Crocker, the main radio DJ in New York, and the next day it was on the air. Eleven days later, it went gold. Rolling Stone named it the No 1 hip-hop record of all time. I've always thought: "Shit, if I'd known what it was going to do, I'd have kept it for myself."
Yemsky

Yemsky

March 30, 2013
referencing The Message, 12", Promo, SH-584
One of the earliest Hip Hop records cleaned for airplay:
The opening lines of the "Vocal For Radio Play Only" version are:
"Broken glass, everywhere / People [beep] on the stairs, you know they just don't care..."
stfdnx

stfdnx

March 12, 2004
referencing The Message, 12", Single, Ltd, 310953

On the back of the sleave you got the lyrics in english and .... in french !!! Very funny !!!
rev.robert

rev.robert

November 21, 2002
referencing The Message, 12", SHL 117
one of the 1st hip-hop records to comment about the inner city, and what new york looked like to them @ the time.