FUNKMASTER FLEX BIOGRAPHY:
Funkmaster Flex was born 'Aston Taylor' on August 5, 1968 in Bronx, New York, and is the son of a Jamaican DJ. he currently still resides in New York, but in Ardsley. Flex bought his first set of turntables at age 16, influenced by early New York hip-hop DJs such as DJ Red Alert. Today Funk Flex is a popular hip hop DJ on New York City's Hot 97 radio station, where his weekly show has a 10% market share. He is known for being the first to release exclusive records into the hip hop world, and his show also features live mixing and celebrity guests. What separates Funkmaster Flex from other DJs is his mainstream popularity and accessible image.
Not since the early '80s when DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were acknowledged as two of rap's most popular figures had a hip-hop DJ attained such prominent status among the masses as Funkmaster Flex has. He began his career with the group 'Deuces Wild' and worked at hip-hop radio station "KISS-FM" as an assistant for the legendary DJ Chuck Chillout. When DJ Chuck Chillout transferred to WBLS, Flex accompanied him and soon began spinning at clubs and parties, where people began to take note of his skills. Among those fascinated with his talents were the programming chiefs at Hot 97, the most powerful commercial hip-hop station in the city, who offered him a prominent role as one of the city's top hip-hop DJs.
Throughout the 1990s he reigned over New York's mammoth rap scene, and was capable of making or breaking artists with his high-profile position at Hot 97. By the mid-'90s, he was also the weekly DJ hyping the crowd at New Yorks famed club 'The Tunnel', and also had his radio show broadcasting on Los Angeles' Power 106, America's second largest radio market.
In 1995 Flex then began releasing commercially successful mix albums in the mid-'90s, beginning with the first volume of the long-running "60 Minutes of Funk" series. The albums were a virtual who's who of NYC hip-hop, featuring exclusive joints and numerous freestyles from the likes of Wu-Tang, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep and many more. Every set of Funkmaster Flex's "60 Minutes of Funk" series has reached Gold status in terms of sales.
In 1999 he and Big Kap released The Tunnel, another all-star collection of solid bangers that contained a classic live freestyle by the now deceased Biggie Smalls, and Tupac SHakur (2Pac) originating from back in 1993. In addition to his radio and club gigs, Funk Flex is also CEO of his own label, Franchise Records.
At the end of the 90's, his popularity only continued to rise, landing him a coveted position on MTV with his own daily show, Direct Effect. Though hip-hop DJs such as Eric B and Terminator X had been recognizable names in the '80s and '90s, Funkmaster Flex was the first pure DJ without any affiliated MCs to match the popular success that early-'80s artists such as Grandmaster Flash had attained, harking back to the early days of hip-hop when the DJ overshadowed the MC.
In 2000, he mixed a collection of that year's biggest rap anthems for Arista, on the set "Vibe Hits, Vol. 1", and further continued his own 60 Minutes of Funk series.
Away from the Hip Hop game Funkmaster Flex is also influential in the automotive street scene, with a show on SpikeTV, "Ride with Funkmaster Flex". The show is also on Kenya Television Network, Channel O (South Africa) and Channel V (Australia). The 2005 album Funkmaster Flex Car Show Tour featured music from this very successful series. Other shows of his include "All Muscle with Funkmaster Flex" on ESPN, and "Next Year Car Wars with Funkmaster Flex".
Flex has also founded 'Team Baurtwell', a custom car club. Flex puts on an annual touring car show, the Funkmaster Flex Celebrity Car Show Tour, which includes the cars of stars such as Wyclef Jean and many others.
The 'LUGZ' shoe company produced the "FMF-1 Funkmaster Flex" driving shoe, designed by Flex himself. He has also been a spokesman for 'Starter' athletic gear and 'Greyhound'. Flex also will be launching a sandwich, in conjunction with Burger King, that will feature have 5 beef patties, cheese, bacon, sweet and sour pork, sweet and sour chicken, and bean sprouts. A cross promotion with RotoRooter will try to boost sales.
In the hit videogame "ESPN NFL 2K5", Flex features as a celebrity adversary and is also an unlockable free agent fullback in the season mode section og the game.
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