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Grandmaster Flash planning new album for early 2012

Inductee Saddler appears backstage at 22nd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York
Inductee Saddler appears backstage at 22nd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grandmaster Flash, one of the pioneering DJs of hip-hop music culture, is working on his eighth studio album nearly three decades after the release of his influential record "The Message."

The Bronx-based DJ gained recognition in the 80s and 90s when he performed with the Furious Five, a group of five rappers who last achieved chart success with "On The Strength" in 1988, and were the first artists of the hip-hop genre to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Grandmaster Flash said Wednesday his upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album, will be "totally different" to his previous records as he evolves his own musical style.

"There was a time when there was black music, white music, pop music, rock, but now all that's become a blur," he told reporters after performing at the Grammy nominations concert. "I have the chance to put together all these different types of music and do some sort of funky fusion."

Rappers Melle Mel and Scorpio, part of the Furious Five, joined Grandmaster Flash on the Grammy stage Wednesday to perform the iconic song, "The Message," along with Lupe Fiasco, Common and LL Cool J, an experience that the DJ described as "once-in-a-lifetime."

"When you think you've seen and you've done everything you can do, you get these once-in-a-lifetime phone calls," said the DJ, adding that he was "speechless just to be in the company of this culture that I co-created on that stage."

The 53-year-old DJ, who described himself as "a servant" of music, found himself impressed by newer talent performing on stage at Wednesday's concert, in particular Lady Gaga.

"To see her just flip her style from what she's great at and get right down gritty with the lead singer of Sugarland...I have a brand new respect for her," said Grandmaster Flash, adding that he would love to collaborate with the 25-year-old Grammy-winning artist and would "definitely test her" to push her musical boundaries.

The new album from Grandmaster Flash is currently expected in spring 2012.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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