Grand Wizard Theodore, Waterbed Kev, Master Rob, Prince Whipper Whip, Ruby Dee, Dot-A-Rock
Grandwizard & The Freaks
Bronx native, Grand Wizard Theodore (Theodore ‘Teddy’ Livingston), is widely accepted to have been the inventor of the scratch and the needle drop.
He began his career alongside his siblings as part of the L Brothers with his brother, DJ Mean Gene (Gene Livingston), serving as his mentor. They were later joined by Cordie-O (Cordie Livingston). He also became an apprentice of Grandmaster Flash.
Realising the need to have MC’s as part of their set-up for their block parties, Theodore recruited schoolmate, Kevie Kev (Kevi-Kev) aka Waterbed Kev (Kevin Strong), who brought along his brother, Robbie Rob (Robi-Rob) aka Master Rob (Robin Strong). They were also joined temporarily by Busy Bee (David Parker) who left DJ Breakout’s crew to join the L Brothers, although he would eventually move on to pastures new. Following his departure, they were joined by Prince Whipper Whip (James Whipper) and Dot-A-Rock (Darryl Mason), original members of Cold Crush Brothers among others, and Ruby Dee (Rubin Garcia).
Initially known as The Fantastic Four, the MC’s became known as the Fantastic Freaks aka Fantastic Five aka Fantastic Romantic 5 and together with Theodore, they appeared in the cult hip hop movie, Wild Style, produced and directed by Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy (Fred Braithwaite), where they battled Cold Crush Brothers.
In 1982, following a successful tour with the Sugarhill Gang, the group made their debut on vinyl with the release of the rap classic, Can I Get A Soul Clapp. There are a number of spelling mistakes and name variations for both the group and the record label, all of which are noted below but both the original releases seem to be under parent label, Disco-O-Wax. It was also reissued multiple times courtesy of Tuff City.
Grand Wizard Theodore returned in 1989 to appear on the DJ Jazzy Jay compilation, Cold Chillin In The Studio Live, as Grandwizard & The Freaks.
Check out the links below for a little more information regarding the history of the group.
Label: Soul Wax Inc. / Soul-O-Wax Inc.
Notes: Note the different spellings on the labels, I’m assuming, by mistake: Ronmatic 5, Romatic 5. Also, the labels are supposed to read Fantastic Romantic 5 but the inserts read Romantic Fantastic Five.
Label: Ol’ Skool Flava / Tuff City
Notes: The Ol’ Skool Flava reissue is dated 1988 on the label but was actually released mid to late 1990’s.