Duke Bootee / Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five / Grandmaster Melle Mel / Melle Mel

The Message

Composed by Jiggs Chase / John "Ecstasy" Fletcher / Melvin Glover / Sylvia Robinson

Song Review by

Though it became a recurrent theme in the '90s, tracks from the old school rarely dealt with the cold reality of life on the streets. One of the first tracks to push rap from novelty songs into social commentary was Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message," with its chilling prophecy, "Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge, I'm tryin' not to lose my head/It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under." It sure didn't hurt that the production was a gem too, bringing in elements of dub, electro, and R&B to appeal to almost everyone listening to urban radio in the early '80s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Message from Beat Street: The Best of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & the Furious Five 1994 Rhino 7:02