This legendary hip-hop group formed in 1978 in the Bronx, New York, the home of hip hop, along side many hip-hop luminaries such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force, Grand Wizard Theodore & the Fantastic Five, and DJs Baron and Breakout and The Funky Four Plus One.
The legendary group I’m speaking of today is The Cold Crush Brothers original lineup consisted of the founder, DJ Tony Tone, Easy A.D., DJ Charlie Chase, Whipper Whip, Mr. Tee, and Dot-A-Rock. Eventually, Whipper Whip and Dot-A-Rock left and joined the Fantastic Five, which they considered to be a more established group at the time.
The Cold Crush Brothers were especially known for their memorable routines which included harmonies, melodies and stage-stomping performances. The Cold Crush Brothers set the standard for emceeing. They became known as The Rolling Stones of hip-hop Because of the attention they began to attract, many groups would try to battle them to gain street credibility and for hip hop supremacy. This would lead to a fierce and well known rivalry with The Fantastic Five, culminating in a lyrical battle between the groups on July 3, 1981. The grand prize was winner takes all, $1000 cash. The Fantastic Five won the battle.
Click here to hear one of the battles from 1981 against The Fantastic Five.
Their popularity was strengthened by the sale of their live performances that were recorded on cassette by Tape Master (Elvis Moreno). These shows were taped and distributed worldwide via word-of-mouth promotion.
The Cold Crush Brothers began to release records commercially. The first single was “Weekend” on Elite Records. It was a party and dance record that described ways to have fun on the weekends.
The second single was “Punk Rock Rap” on Tuff City Records and distributed by CBS. This was the first time an independent hip hop label and a major record company worked together. “Punk Rock Rap” was the first recording to fuse hip hop and rock together. The phrase, “Oh My God!” sampled on Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew’s single, “The Show”, came from “Punk Rock Rap”.
The most successful Cold Crush single to date is “Fresh, Wild, Fly & Bold”, released in 1984, which sold 16,000 units in its first week of release. A distribution dispute between Tuff City Records and Profile Records hindered the sales of the single with the most potential of reaching gold status.