Grandmaster Flash Becomes First DJ To Win Polar Music Award

blame it on Meka June 21, 2019

This is amazing for hip hop, once again.

Grandmaster Flash, who alongside the Furious Five was the first hip hop artist(s) inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (in 2007), became the first-ever deejay to win the Polar Music Prize, which is often described as the “Nobel Prize for music.” Flash, née Joseph Saddler, was joined by German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the music charity The Playing For Change Foundation as recipients .

Accepting the prize from the King of Sweden(!), Carl XVI Gustaf, De La Soul‘s DJ Maseo introduced Flash before a packed house. “Grandmaster Flash is a scientist and a virtuoso who has demonstrated that turntables and mixing consoles can be musical instruments,” Maseo said. “[He] changed the course of popular music. Some 40 years later, the musical form and the hip-hop culture that Grandmaster Flash helped to create, in the ruins of the South Bronx in the mid-1970s, has grown into the largest music genre, hip-hop, in the United States and the world.”

Flash, upon accepting the award, said, “This thing that I did had not existed before, and I am one of many where I come from. It ended up being called hip-hop, taking the drum break from pop, rock, jazz, blues, funk, disco, R&B, and using duplicate copies of records. I would take one section and repeat it over and over again. [This award is] in honor of every DJ, every rapper, every graffiti artist, and every breakdancer.”

Flash is in elite company, joining the likes of B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Dizzy Gillespie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder as winners. Watch his induction video below.