Picks and Pans Review: The Source

updated 06/23/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/23/1986 01:00AM

Grandmaster Flash

This South Bronx group was seminal in the development of the urban hip-hop scene, whose elements include break dancing, rap and scratch music and graffiti art. If you doubt the importance of its contributions, go right to The Source. Flash and his boys have filled this album with allegations that all other rappers are copycats who ripped off the Grandmaster's style, and that the originals are still the greatest. Sorry, guys, but that's open to debate. When they're not boasting, the performers spend the rest of the time introducing themselves, as in "the baddest and the most popular deejay on earth/ I go by the name of the Grandmaster Flash." The four supporting rappers, Raheim, Kidd Creole, Lavon and Mr. Broadway, spout the most strictly metered rhyme. Too often their goose-step verse is augmented by little more than a pulsating bass-drum effect. The most talented part of the ensemble is the Grandmaster. His feverish three-turntable scratching technique lights up the best tracks, Fastest Man Alive and Style. Unfortunately, Flash is hidden beneath a bushel for most of The Source. (Elektra)

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