WhodiniHip-Hop | 2012
Whodini was among the first hip-hop/electro groups to add R&B to their music, to cultivate a high-profile national following for hip-hop, and to make significant inroads in urban radio. Members of the group, which was managed by Russell Simmons early on, are Brooklyn natives Jalil Hutchins, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, and Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter. In 1983, Whodini recorded its self-titled album, which included the single “Haunted House of Rock,” a Halloween-themed number that is still played today. Synthpop pioneer Thomas Dolby helped produce another of the album’s singles, “Magic’s Wand,” which was originally conceived as an advertisement for prominent radio jock Mr. Magic, who worked for New York’s WBLS radio. (“Magic’s Wand” also has the distinction of being one of Whodini’s most-sampled songs.) Whodini’s 1984 release Escape, which included “Five Minutes of Funk” and “The Freaks Come Out at Night,” was certified platinum, selling over one million albums upon release. From 1982 to 1986, Whodini was at its most productive, touring with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, the Fat Boys, and other prominent hip hop, R&B, and funk bands. The group also was involved in the first Fresh Fest tour, which was the first hip-hop tour to play large coliseums nationwide. In 2007, Whodini, whose records have become sample sources for contemporary emcees such as Nas, Master P, Prodigy, and MF Doom, was an honoree at the fourth VH1 Hip Hop Honors.