Blowfly's Top Ten Contributions to Music
Yo momma's favorite filthy rapper, Blowfly.
Blowfly, otherwise known as Clarence Reid, is more than just the world's first recorded rapper, a smooth-singing soul crooner, and a sex prophet for profit. He is living proof of Miami's global relevance to the world of music.
And there are not many people who know Blowfly as well as manager, drummer, and number-one fan Tom Bowker. He has both traveled the world with Mr. Fly as a touring musician and incurred his wrath over pizza.
So in preparation for this weekend's Save the Funky House Party, here are Blowfly's top ten contributions to music, according to Bowker.
10. His Crazy-Ass Sense of Humor
"Nobody was fucking in music," says Bowker. "Certainly, in comedy, you had party records. But Blowfly was the first to mix humor and music in a way that wasn't a stuffy white dude thing. We got the funk. Laughter was the idea. When they recorded the music, they were literally having a party, getting loose, and having fun at TK Records in Hialeah. It wasn't just dirty jokes in the basement. It was dancing and getting laid."
9. His Filthy Influence
"Millions of people listened to hs records. So many rappers' parents had these albums and played them and ordered their kids out when all they wanted to do was listen, and of course, that made them want to listen even more. I've had so many rappers tell me this exact story, whether it's Snoop or Devin the Dude, a good dozen rappers have told me about how they used to hide the Blowfly under their Jackson 5, but they would always get busted. My parents didn't have cool records like that, but I did sneak my dad's Playboys so I understand completely."
8. The Whole Deep City Thing
"Clarence Reid bounced around South Florida until he found a home here in Miami with Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall and they started their own little universe down here," Bowker explains. "Clarence basically groomed Betty Wright along with Willie and wrote all her songs. He also worked with Helene Smith, and of course he also wrote his own really good songs. The dividends paid off almost exactly 40 years later with the Numero Group's re-issue of all the Deep City material, the Deep City movie, and now Henry Stone's movie. It's not because there's nothing worth documenting. And that's why we sold out the Gusman Theater. Even people who don't know Clarence can understand that "First black- owned record label in the state of Florida" is important historically."Next Page
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