Rap Pioneer Jimmy Spicer Is Fighting Cancer & Needs Hip-Hop’s Help

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Hi. We recently created AFH TV, Ambrosia For Heads’ streaming video service, because we believe real Hip-Hop deserves its own dedicated TV home, but we need your help to make it great. Please subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and already features some amazing content, but the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of your support.

Jimmy Spicer (born James Bromley Spicer) is one of the first Hip-Hop artists to release a record when “Adventures of Super Rhymes” dropped in 1980. This 15-plus-minute song is full of playful raps and zany storytelling, much of which has been interpolated or sampled over the decades. Not to mention, Spicer’s narrative style was adopted by favorites like Slick Rick and Dana Dane.

Among the Rap pioneers on wax, this MC released a handful of singles after his debut 12” and while none had the impact of “Super Rhymes,” “Money (Dollar Bill Y’all)” and “The Bubble Bunch” have also been heavily sampled and interpolated. For instance, Wu-Tang Clan’s early hit “C.R.E.A.M.” re-purposed Spicer’s 1983 song catch-phrase. Meanwhile, Busta Rhymes and DJ Scratch reworked “Bubble Bunch” for 1998’s “Do The Bus A Bus.” In a 2015 interview with The Combat Jack Show, Long Beach, California’s Warren G spoke at length about the influence that Spicer’s music had on him. The “Bubble Bunch” single includes the first remix by John “Jellybean” Benitez, who later made hits with Madonna and Whitney Houston, and famed remixes for David Bowie, Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson, and Fleetwood Mac.

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Early on, Jimmy worked with late producer Larry Robinson (Fat Boys, Whodini, Kurtis Blow) in addition to Russell Simmons. Like Kurtis, Spicer recorded singles for the famed Mercury Records after independent success early on. Later in Spicer’s career, his 1985 Def Jam single “This Is It” and its B-side “Beat The Clock,” were produced by Rick Rubin. As recently as this decade, Spicer has continued with Rap. In 2010, he dropped a music video to “Money” sequel, “$ Can’t Buy Luv.”

Recently, Spicer was diagnosed with advanced cancer. “I have been diagnosed with advanced cancer,” Spicer revealed in a statement. “I have a tumor in my lung and a tumor in my brain. I am currently undergoing radiation therapy for the tumor in my brain. I now need chemotherapy for the tumor in my lung. Please with your help and prayers I can fight this.” He and his family have launched a GoFundMe campaign just over two weeks ago to help pay his hospital expenses, hoping to raise $100,000. As of the writing of this article 47 people have donated $1,316.

Kurtis Blow has been among the Rap peers calling for aid to Spicer:

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It is safe to say that every bit helps this Rap pioneer. Ambrosia For Heads puts our thoughts with Jimmy Spicer at this time.