Raunch Rap Pioneer Blowfly Reveals Terminal Cancer Diagnosis, Plans Final Album

He may not be a household name to many Heads, but he should be. Blowfly is a true originator, one whose raunchy and outlandish personalities have earned him a permanent place in the annals of music history. The 76-year-old Georgia native has been an undeniably influential character in the formation of many Hip-Hop personas, with his works having been sampled by everyone from Brand Nubian to DJ Quik and Wu-Tang Clan.

Under the name Blowfly, he has released more than 25 albums since the early ’70s, but he began even earlier as Clarence Reid, and off-the-wall antics aside, he truly is a masterful musician and producer. With great sadness, it has been announced that Clarence “Blowfly” Reid has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, resulting in multiple organ failure and the need for around-the-clock hospitalization. However, in true performer fashion, it was also announced that one last LP, entitled 77 Rusty Trombones, will arrive in February.

Reid got his start penning and producing material for the likes of legendary Soul musicians Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, and KC & the Sunshine Band. It wasn’t long, however, until he began to pursue a solo career, which is when his signature blend of great music and sexually explicit lyrics was born. A favored past-time of his was to perform “dirty” versions of hit songs he’d written for others, and one fine evening, he and his band mates recorded an entire album of filthy tracks, and Blowfly was born.

Due to the suggestive nature of the tunes on The Weird World of Blowfly (1971), he opted to dress in costume so as to protect his identity. Luckily for the world, that concern swiftly dissipated and he would exert his creativity in its full glory by the time material like like “Porno Freak” (1978), Blowfly’s Party (1980), and “First Black President” (1988) were released.

Over the course of his career, his discography has been visited hundreds of times by a generation of producers whose parents likely played Blowfly records (although perhaps on low volume), and as such, a vast swath of Hip-Hop from the ’90s contains samples of his. DJ Quik’s “Sweet Black Pussy,” which features Blowfly’s “The Incredible Fulk”; Eazy-E and MC Ren’s “Nobody Move,” featuring “Blowfly’s Rapp”; and Jurassic 5’s “Quality Control,” which samples “One Less Dick” are just a few examples. His legacy is preserved in the 2010 documentary The Weird World of Blowfly, and he remains a shining example of true artistic self-determination and unbridled carnal musicality whose element can be heard in the music of Akinyele, Devin the Dude, Too $hort, and others. Ambrosia for Heads sends condolences to Reid and his family during this trying time.

To read Blowfly’s official announcement to his fans, please visit his Facebook page.

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