Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was the first Hip-Hop group inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, largely thanks to their groundbreaking single, “The Message” (1982). Heralded as one of rap’s first socio-political songs, the track blazed a trail for MCs like Chuck D and KRS-One to deliver their own politically-charged content. But behind the scenes, tensions within the group were tearing them apart and they eventually went their separate ways. Melle Mel teamed up with Scorpio, Grandmaster Flash and Rahiem went on their own, as did Kidd Creole until his 2017 arrest.
Even as they were inducted into the famed Rock Hall, it seemed they’d never mend fences—until now. On Tuesday (August 8), just three days before Hip-Hop’s official 50th birthday, Rahiem issued a public apology to the fellow members of the group, bringing a longstanding grudge to a close.
“I’ve been doing a little soul searching and I’d like to extend an olive branch in light of this 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop to my beloved brothers Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious Five, and retract any ill or deragatory statements that I’ve made publicly about you that could have hurt you or your families,” he says in the clip. “I humbly apologize. It is my wish that I would love to see Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Scorpio and myself once again take the stage and unify ’cause there’s a lot going on in Hip-Hop right now, and I think Hip-Hop needs our unification.
“I think this is much bigger than me and how I feel personally. I would just like to bury the hatchet, moving forward, no matter what happened in the past. We can’t move forward looking back. I employ that ideology and I humbly ask for your forgiveness for anything that I have said or done to make you feel slighted or disrespected. I humbly apologize. Hip-Hop needs this. Happy 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.
Legendary New York City promotor Van Silk tells AllHipHop, “The message from Rahiem is great for Hip-Hop. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are trailblazers in Hip-Hop. Just to see this as a part of moving forward is great. For me, it’s been 25 years working on this, but I’m happy to see my brother make the first step.”
Charlie Mack and Walter Reed Jr. also played integral roles in unifying the group, which Van Silk denotes in his caption. He wrote: “TIME TO MOVE FORWARD!!! Keep it positive!!! Apology Accepted!! Rahiem message to Mele Mel & Scorpio! The Olive Branch has be extended! As we all celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop @rahiem.official Rahiem from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 extended the Olive Branch to Mele Mel & Scorpio his band mate. Let’s not forget Grandmaster Flash and our brother the #KiddCreole. TIME TO MOVE FORWARD! Let make magic again hopefully. Salute to #waltjrbigblocent & #charliemackfirstout. HIP HOP LIVES ON!!!!”
Van Silk has planned a giant blowout on Friday (August 11) from noon to 6 p.m. ET at Mill Pond Park in the Bronx with Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Chill Rob G, Fearless 4, Busy Bee Starski, Sweet Tee, Kool Kyle the Star Child and many, many more. Coke La Rock, the Original Spindarella, Pete Nice, Sheri Sher and Paradise will serve as hosts, while DJ Kevie Kev Rockwell will provide the music. An open cypher by Red Bull BC One and murals by the Thrive Collective—including TATS crew, Lady Pink and Queen Andrea—will represent the breaking and graffiti art elements of the culture.