50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop – Cold Crush Brothers

Written by on November 6, 2023

The Cold Crush Brothers formed in the Bronx in 1978 and made an enduring mark in the world of Hip-Hop. They were particularly renowned for their unforgettable performances that featured harmonies, melodies, and stage stomping routines.

Back in their formative years from 1978 to 1981, the Cold Crush Brothers formed when DJ Tony Tone joined forces with DJ Charlie Chase, and Easy A.D. left his previous group, The Asalaam Brothers, to become part of this new venture. The original lineup was The Original DJ Tony Tone, Supreme Easy A.D., DJ Charlie Chase, Whipper Whip, Mr. Tee, and Dot-A-Rock. Over time, some members departed, joining other prominent groups like DJ Grand Wizard Theodore & the Fantastic Five, and new faces like Grandmaster Caz, Almighty Kay Gee, and J.D.L. joined the fold.

The Cold Crush Brothers became central to a pivotal moment in Hip-Hop history when Big Bank Hank, a part-time club bouncer, used Grandmaster Caz’s rhymes on Sugar Hill Gang’s,  iconic “Rapper’s Delight”. This event thrust them into the limelight and ignited intense rivalries, especially with The Fantastic Five. Their epic lyrical battle in 1981, where the Cold Crush Brothers emerged as fan favorites, solidified their reputation as one of Hip-Hop’s most influential underground crews.

From 1982 to 1984, the Cold Crush Brothers embarked on a city-wide tour of New York and ventured as far as Boston, all before releasing commercial records. Their live performances, recorded on cassette by Tape Master Elvis Moreno, bolstered their popularity and reached a global audience. Their appearance in the 1982 movie “Wild Style”, which documented Hip-Hop culture, further showcased their talent, notably in the iconic basketball court face off with the Fantastic Five. A year after the film’s release, the Cold Crush Brothers went international, touring Japan and Europe.

Commercial releases began with their first single, “Weekend,” in 1982, highlighting everyday experiences in a catchy and relatable manner. The group’s global reach expanded when they brought Hip-Hop to Tokyo, Japan in 1983, representing one of the earliest foreign markets for the genre. They then made history by securing a deal with CBS Records, a first in Hip-Hop, and released “Punk Rock Rap,” which fused Hip-Hop and rock while breaking racial boundaries. Their hit “Fresh, Wild, Fly & Bold” in 1984 was a major success, even selling 16,000 units in its first week, despite distribution disputes.

The Cold Crush Brothers’ legacy remains significant, as evident in Jay-Z’s 2001 single “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” which pointed out the music industry’s exploitation of artists, using the Cold Crush Brothers as an example. In 2002, they suffered the loss of Money Ray. Their enduring impact was recognized in 2008 when “At the Dixie” from “Wild Style” ranked 77th on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop. Furthermore, in 2016, DJ Tony Crush of the Cold Crush Brothers earned a place in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, further etching their lasting influence on the world of music. This isn’t every detail about them but we encourage you to learn more.

SOURCE: by Daudi Abe on BlackPast.org


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