Long before Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew spewed their raunchy, explicit lyrics on America, there was Blowfly. Born Clarence Reid in 1939 in Cochran, Georgia, he credits his grandmother for his alter ego's moniker.
(We've refrained from publishing his effusive profanity here, so you can fill in your own obscenities, kind of like Mad Libs.)
When he was a kid, she overheard him reworking the chorus to "Do the Twist" into "Suck My _____." Disgusted, Grandma scolded him: "You are nastier than a blowfly!"
"According to her, when the comet struck the Earth, killing all the dinosaurs, all that was left were the blowflies," Reid recalls. "The blowflies went around the world laying their maggots all over the place. That's what my mouth was doing — laying maggots."
Reid grew up to be an accomplished songwriter who moved to Miami in the early '60s and penned music for Betty Wright, Gwen McCrae, and KC & the Sunshine Band. To lighten the mood in the studio, Reid would perform sexually explicit versions of his hit songs, but he performed them only for friends and fellow musicians. In 1971, Blowfly was finally born when Reid released an album of his lewd material, called The Weird World of Blowfly. The cover featured Reid dressed in a low-rent purple and gold supervillain costume, complete with a Mexican-wrestler-style mask and cape.
During a recent interview, Reid breaks out one of his salacious ditties. In a syrupy baritone, he croons, "When the clock strikes 1, 2, and 3, I want you to give all that head to me. We're gonna _____ around the clock tonight. We're gonna suck, suck, suck in the broad daylight. We're gonna _____ around the clock tonight."
Today, Blowfly is an underground pop culture sensation, crisscrossing the globe to sing his nasty odes to hipsters from Germany to Australia to Canada. A new documentary with the same title as his first album shows Blowfly commiserating with luminaries from Miami's indie music scene, including bass king Otto Von Schirach and DJ Le Spam. "I created the Miami sound," Blowfly boasts.
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Despite his musical achievement, Reid missed out on an opportunity to sing the National Anthem before a Miami Heat game. His daughter Traci Reid played professional basketball for the WNBA's now-defunct Miami Sol team, owned by the Heat's Mickey Arison.
"The team found out I was her daddy," Reid says. "They asked her if I would like to sing the National Anthem. She told them: 'Don't you know my daddy is Blowfly, the man who sings dirty songs?'"
Blocked by his own kin, Reid never got the invite. But he admits she saved the Heat from Blowfly. He explains he had reworked the first bar to "The Star-Spangled Banner": "I was going to sing something like this: O, say can you see, all this _____ God gave me, that I buried in some bitch's _____."
Clifton Childree | Andre Berto >>