John “Ecstasy” Fletcher of the trailblazing hip-hop group Whodini died at 56


Whodini’s Xyle Hutchins (left) and John “Ecstasy” Fletcher (right) backstage in 1984. (Photo: Paul Natkin / Getty Images)

The hip-hop community one-man stepped onto social media on Wednesday to mourn the death of John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, a co-singer of the charismatic, Zoro-hate-cum-businessman Brooklyn rap trio Whodini Is known as The Rutlove of the Roots first posted breaking news via their Twitter and Instagram accounts, “A love to the ecstasy of the legendary #Woddini. This guy was great and one of the most famous groups in hip hop Was a key member. This is the unhappy man. “The group’s Grandmaster D later confirmed the news. Variety, But no cause of death was given at press time. Fletcher was 56 years old.

Fletcher formed Whodini in 1982 with singer / songwriter Jaleel Hutchins and turntablist Drew Carter aka Grandmaster D, and they quickly followed the ’80s New York rap scene with Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five, Curtis Blow, Afrika Bambata, Run. Became a star of -DMC, The Fat Boys, and LS Cool J. Managed by Russell Simmons, he released the R&B / Electro Crossover Club hits, which laid out the blue jack swing movement, including “Friends” (which went to number 4 on Billboard’s Hot. R&B / Hip-Hop Songs Chart), “Freak Come Out at Night,” “Five Minutes of Funk,” and “The Haunted House of Rock.”

Whodini’s debut single “Magic Wand,” co-produced by British synthp pioneer Thomas Dolby, was the first rap song to accompany the music video, and Whodini was the stage pioneer as well: his live performances were the first concert to feature rap. Dance crew UTFO, and future super-producer Jermaine Dupri made their debut in show business at the age of 12 as backup dancers for Whodini. Dupree was undoubtedly one of several artists to pay tribute to Fletcher, who took to heart a flashback video on Twitter caption: “My God, it makes me feel so bad, I can’t even believe I’m posting this Have been, Ex you know that I love you, thank you for every word, every conversation, may your soul rest. “

On his official Twitter account, Public enemy wrote, “Parmanand was my brother. Stayed on the phone all morning. Bliss was the greatest ever to rock a microphone. Vodini broke barriers, set trends and looked out for us as soon as we came up. Pei did us the favor. We sampled Whodini, and brought them on tour. We had real brotherhood, “while the group Chuck D also posted, “In 1987 I entered the @Defjam Tour W PE. I was terrified to see 15000 fans in front of me every night. There were 2 MCs that directly mentioned my calm that summer. 1 was @RealDougEFresh, The second was Wodini’s ecstasy. One should always be confident of giving advice. “

Called a tribe quest quest Q-Tip called Fletcher “One of the most appreciated voices in hip-hop,” LL Cool J calls Fletcher “one of the most important people to me in this culture” and Ice Cube thanks Fletcher “To show us how to do it.” Other musical luminaries who paid their respects included Ice-T, Snoop Dogg and Sheila E.

During his career, Whodini released six studio albums, four of which were certified platinum; His last LP of 1996 Six, Was released on Dupri’s So So Def label. Whodini was also one of hip-hop’s most-sampled artists; “Friends” alone was sampled more than 150 times, most notably Kanye West, Nas, Tupac Shakur, Drs. The tracks were most frequently sampled on tracks by Dre, Pharisee, Public Enemy, Nipsy Husley, Will Smith, Baugh Thugs-N-Harmony, Fabulous, Nat. Dog, and E-40. The group appeared in 2007 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors And received the Hip-Hop Icon Award in Black Music Honors in 2018.

Watch the tribute to John “Ecstasy” Fletcher below:

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