Scorpio - Legend2Legend Part 2: Herc, Prince, Rick James

AllHipHop Staff

In Part 2 of’s Legend2Legend interview with Scorpio of The Furious 5, the rapper digs deep into the origins of Hip-Hop, their “beef” with Bronx legend Kool Herc and their relationship and influence on guys like Prince and Rick James. There was a lot of Jamaican influence in the early days, because the ska dj's were doing that [toasting , breaks] in the 60's.

Scorpio: But Kool Herc was Jamaican so that's where his thing came from. Grandmaster Flash was the first actual DJ on planet earth to take turntables and cut on beat. Before, Herc, when he used to play a record and then go to the next record, it sounded crazy, different speeds, like “God Damn!” just drop the needle anywhere you'd be like, “Oh, s**t. What is happening?” (laughs) but with Flash he was the first one to start cutting in the Bronx, everything on beat, you could dance and he could go from record to record, you never have to stop dancing. On beat. And with him doing that allowed us to start our rhythm, rhyming. Like the first rhymes was simple stuff like “yes yes y'all, to the beat y'all, the beat beat y'all, and you don't stop, its on and on and on and on, like hot butter on say what the popcorn,” while he cuts on beat. So that was the original seed of Hip-Hop.

Whenever you hear they rhymes patterns and skills today, that's what it started from, on beat, on time, on rhythm. And that was the Furious Five, nobody on planet earth, no legend, no Herc, no Afrika Bambaataa, nobody would ever deny that... - Scorpio of the Furious 5 Did you ever work with Herc back then?

Scorpio: Never. He hated us. He was the King of the Bronx at one point. I can remember going into his thing [where] he used to play in a spot called the PAL, we used to be a break crew called the D Squad and he know we was slowly trying to get into music, and Herc would see Flash and say on the mic “I like to welcome the D**k Squad in the house y'all!” He used to straight diss us. He would take all the bass out and say: “This is the way Grandmaster Flash sound” and it be all tweeters and then say: “and this is the Herculoids” and put all the bass back in, it'd be like “boom boom booom.” He used to diss us crazy. We didn't speak. At all. He hated us. I heard it was when Herc got stabbed that he kinda went off the scene for a while.

Scorpio: When he got stabbed, Herc was a big strong dude. What happened was somebody tried to steal his chain or some s**t but he didn't go off the scene. When he recovered he was still around. That wasn't why we came up, we came up because we had the most talented emcees and the most talented DJ on planet earth. Our group was so unique compared to all the other groups, even the groups back then like the Cold Crush, we were so far ahead of them because of the style of routines and the realism of our raps. How did your distinctive fashion come about?

Scorpio: We always dressed alike, even from back in the Bronx when we started rhyming. We all had Lee suits we would iron with a bunch of starch. We didn't come out individually, we always looked uniform. We was the criteria for rap for most of the other groups in the Bronx, the Cold Crush, Fantastic 5, the Funky 4, they all followed suit, because we was truly the leaders of it. And that's not coming from an arrogant space, that's just from a reality space. I had a lot to do with that because as far as the Furious Five I was the most fashionable one as far as like my style. I used to go to Harlem and buy all my clothes from a spot called AJ Lester. We was playing with groups like Parliament, Rick James, Prince, Zapp and Roger, and these cats was tight, it was theatrical, it was a show. At that time there was a little punk rock going around and we were running with Rick James and them. Did you know the record "Scorpio" was going to be such a huge hit when you recorded it?

Scorpio: Of course not. With "Scorpio" all we wanted was a song on the level of Planet Rock. So we did it but we had no idea how huge it was. I remember we did a show with Rick James and he was all fired up and couldn't go on. He was doing his thing. We used to make a lot of money with Rick because promoters would be like, “Yo, we can't find Rick! Can y'all go back out to the crowd? We will give you another $10,000.” So sometimes we would make triple the money, because you wouldn't ever know when Rick would come out. So they asked to come back out, and we had already played all the records, I remember it was at Dallas Arena, 18,000 people there, and Rick's not there and we didn't know what to do so it was just like lets put on Scorpio and the crowd went crazy.

By the time Run and them came out it was full blown, like OK this is Hip-Hop, but they stripped it down. They still wore the leather, but without the spikes and studs, and they wore sneakers. But the leather, that was our era and that was us. That wasn't Prince. That wasn't Rick. That was us.-Scorpio of the Furious 5 What were you all doing with Rick James?

Scorpio: Everything. He was like my father in this industry. I did it all with Rick. That was my dude, we was freaks, man, we was straight freaks. You gotta understand we came up in the zone there wasn't all them diseases out there at the time it was a lot safer. Whats the most naked girls you seen in a room at one time?

Scorpio: Its not that many... Maybe 10. Laughing

Scorpio: That's not very much, it was just the ambiance of the time. When we were doing Hip-Hop on tour it was really a revolution. It wasn't no violence or anything, but everywhere we went people didn't know what it was. We would go places and people would be like where the f**k is the band? What seems so natural, to get on stage with just the turntables and the mic, yo, we fought for that. By the time Run and them came out it was full blown, like OK this is Hip-Hop, but they stripped it down. They still wore the leather, but without the spikes and studs, and they wore sneakers. But the leather, that was our era and that was us. That wasn't Prince. That wasn't Rick. That was us.

Fans in the United Kingdom be sure to check out Scorpio, The Furious 5 and Kurtis Blow on the Legends2Legend Tour this September. Click here for more info.