The Cold Crush Brothers Defined MC’ing As We Know It. Hear Them Rock A 1982 Set (Audio)
The Cold Crush Brothers (a/k/a The Cold Crush IV) are an iconic Hip-Hop group. In the era leading up to first 12″ singles, and later, full-length albums, founder DJ Tony Tone, Almighty Kay Gee, Dot-A-Rock, Grandmaster Caz, Supreme Easy A.D., Whipper Whip, DJ Charlie Chase, and other members in and around the crew were among the elite performers, MCs, and DJs in all of the culture. In the 1970s, Caz in particular is a prominent voice in Vh1’s NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell documentary, a testament to his prominence in the first five years of Hip-Hop.
By the 1980s, Cold Crush were still at the top. However, the outfit’s finest moments still were on stage. Bootlegged audio footage of the harmonic and melodic routines from the Bronx, New York pioneers traveled the world, while contemporaries like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, The Sugarhill Gang (for whom Caz wrote part of their biggest hit), and Kurtis Blow were moving into extensive singles and albums, including a Mercury Records deal for Blow.
Challenging other crews for supremacy, The Cold Crush Brothers were on everybody’s radar in 1982. Those lucky enough to catch a same-year screening of Wild Style inevitably saw the Cold Crush rock live, commanding an audience in their actual element. Labels took heed. Following “The Weekend” 12″ debut from the crew, Epic Records (the same label Michael Jackson was preparing to release Thriller) took heed. It was at this time, ’82, that the Cold Crush 4 hit the Harlem World stage. Iconic documentarian/photographer Joe Conzo captured the moment—more than 33 minutes, in crisp audio. Brooklyn was definitely in the house that night. Party people, listen to this incredible set of rockin’. Inside the audio, Heads can hear a style that influenced Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, and MC Shan, among others.
Label woes, bootlegging, and personnel changes in the crew prevented Cold Crush from delivering a traditional hit or translating their impact to an album—thus prompting Jay Z’s “Izzo” line. However, on this stage, The Cold Crush Brothers are eternally classic…