Grandmaster Flowers (Jonathon Cameron Flowers) was a DJ from Brooklyn, New York. One of the earliest DJs to mix records together in sequence, Flowers was known as one of the earliest pioneers of hip hop. Flowers was involved in the disco and funk scene and used to hold block parties. Flowers is cited as having a "formative influence" on hip hop DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa in the mid-1970s. In 1969, Grandmaster Flowers opened for James Brown at Yankee Stadium. Although an inspiration to many of hip hop's early greats - he is highly respected by those he influenced - Flowers himself never attained the heights of his successors in hip hop culture. As he found himself being overtaken by the younger up-and-coming DJs at the end of the 1970s, Flowers struggled with a life of hardship and dependence on hard drugs. Fab Five Freddy, who cites Flowers as a formative influence, spotted him one day, homeless and begging, outside a record store while filming for MTV during the 90s. He died in 1992.
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