John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher, a founding member of the pioneering hip-hop group Whodini, has died at the age of 56. The Roots’ Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson announced Fletcher’s death with a tribute on Instagram, writing, “One Love to Ecstasy of the Legendary #Whodini. This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man.” A cause of death has not been revealed.
Fletcher, known for his Zorro-style hat, formed Whodini with his friend Jalil Hutchins and DJ Drew Carter aka Grandmaster Dee in 1982 in Brooklyn. Their self-titled debut arrived a year later and included the single ‘Magic’s Wand’, which paid tribute to influential hip-hop radio DJ Mr. Magic and was the first hip-hop track to ever receive a music video. Blending elements of contemporary R&B, jazz, and funk, Whodini’s eclectic approach to hip-hop made them one of the first rap acts to gain a national following in the US. Their 1984 album Escape is widely celebrated and scored them hits including ‘Five Minutes of Funk’ and ‘The Freaks Come Out at Night’. The trio released their final album Six in 1996, though they continued to tour intermittently in the following years.
In 2018, Whodini received the Hip-Hop Icon Award at the Black Music Honors ceremony in Nashville. “They told us they thought this hip-hop thing was a fad, and that we couldn’t sell out arenas,” Fletcher said in his speech, which you can watch below. “And we proved them wrong.”
Δείτε αυτή τη δημοσίευση στο Instagram.