|This article does not cite any sources. (September 2008)|
Jazzy Five was a hip hop group founded in the mid-1970s.
In the mid seventies, in the area of the South Bronx known as Soundview Houses, the story of Hip hop music pioneers, the "Jazzy Five" MC’s begins.Their founder, the 1st and best rapper in the Soundview area at the time, MC Sundance, was an MC with Disco King Mario along with Charlie Choo and the Master Bee. DJ Jazzy Jay was Mario’s DJ at the time. MC Sundance and Jazzy Jay became good friends, who along with the Master Bee and Charlie Choo left Disco King Mario and joined up with Afrika Bambaataa and the Universal Zulu Nation. After a while, the Master Ice also joined up and along with others formed the Soul Sonic Force. With the large number of MC’s in the Soul Sonic Force, mic time and money was scarce, so MC Sundance, Charlie Choo, Master Bee & Master Ice left the group and formed the Jazzy 4 MC’s with Jazzy Jay as their DJ. They were still under Afrika Bambaataa but because they were all from Soundview, they felt they could develop their own style. While doing a few shows and trying to develop their sound, MC Sundance, who always desired to be a solo artist, left the group. Master Ice recruited Mr. Freeze to replace him. A few weeks later, Charlie Choo left the group to pursue his dreams of college and they recruited the Master Dee, who then turned them on to AJ Les. They changed their name to the "Jazzy Five" and resumed their journey to cement their place in Hip hop music history.
They were five solo artists from Soundview who merged as one for a distinct sound that incorporated singing, dancing and emceeing into one complete sound and stage show and who could compete with the best groups out there. After a few shows with Afrika Bambaataa… DJ Jazzy Jay, DJ Red Alert, & the "Jazzy Five" were a major part of Zulu Nation Hip hop Throw Downs, along with the Soul Sonic Force, the Cosmic Force, etc.
It was in 1981 when Afrika Bambaataa came to them about doing a Hip hop music version of the R&B song “Funky Sensation” by Gwen McCrae. Two days later, “Jazzy Sensation” was written and recorded by the "Jazzy Five" as the first Hip hop music/rap single on Tommy Boy Records. The lyrics consist of the "Jazzy Five" doing a few of their stage show routines while adding the original chorus. When the first mix was complete, Master Ice convinced Arthur Baker to get Shep Pettibone to remix the song the way he did the original “Funky Sensation”. “The Masters Ice, Dee, Bee, I’m Les & Mr. Freeze” rap and sing their way into Hip hop lore on one of the all time Hip hop classics, “Jazzy Sensation.”
Because of the business side of the venture, the "Jazzy Five" as a group never recorded again. They’ve all remained friends and heroes to their people in Soundview, influencing rappers like Lord Tariq from the Hip hop music duo, "Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz" and Will Traxx, who have recorded hot tracks of their own as well as Hip hop producer Minnesota, who’s worked with Mos Def and a host of others. Regardless of how others perceive their status in Hip hop music history, the "Jazzy Five" and their fans know they definitely rocked the house when given the chance. Devoid of ego, each artist had an original, distinctive style and no one emcee in their group dominated the others, unlike some other groups out at that time.
What other rap group from back in the day could boast of Hip hop Hall of Famers like Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Red Alert incorporating their styles of music, mixing, cutting and scratching to their rapping and singing routines on a consistent basis? For example, while they were singing “Survival”, Jazzy Jay was making his own beat with “Love Rap”. Everybody has heard Run DMC’s “Peter Piper”. The Jam Master Jay cuts of Bob James’ “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” were being done by Jazzy Jay back in the 70’s with MC Sundance & Mr. Freeze famous “everybody calls me Chucky Chuck” rhyme.