DJ Tony Tone (Angelo King)
Easy AD (Adrian Harris)
DJ Charlie Chase (Carlos Mandes)
Grandmaster Caz (Curtis Fisher)
Almighty KG (Kenneth Pounder)
JDL (Jerry Dee Lewis)
Money Ray (Eric Hoskins) d. 10/3/02
This was one of the biggest crews of the early hip hop landscape.
The roster to the right is misleading in regards to the original members of the Cold Crush Brothers. Original members included Chase, Tone, A.D. Whipper Whip, Mr. T, and Dotarock but they never recorded together. Whipper-Whip and Dotarock ended up in The Fantastic Five where they would go on to battle the Cold Crushers on many occasions.
The Cold Crush line up most recognized is DJ Charlie Chase and DJ Tony Tone, and four MC’s Grandmaster Caz, Almighty KG, JDL, and Easy (Girltaker) AD. Money Ray was added in the early 1980’s.
Grandmaster Caz and JDL will once known as The Notorious Two.
KG was introduced to rap at a young age at a DJ Smoky party where he first saw b-boys, graf writers and DJing. He couldn’t afford equipment to be a DJ, and his parents would kill him if they caught him writing graffiti, his only option at that point was to break.
After seeing Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel he turned to emceeing. He became a member of the Cheeba Crew where he was known to emcee and DJ simultaneously. He met DJ Charlie Chase, in 1978, at an MC convention and by 1979, he became a member of the Cold Crush Brothers.
One of the most infamous moments in hip hop occurred involving this group. The head of Sugar Hill Records, Sylvia Robinson, heard a bootleg of Cold Crush and decided to make a rap record. She overheard a club bouncer named Hank rapping along to a performance by Grandmaster Caz. She asked Hank to be the third member in this group she was putting together called the Sugarhill Gang. Rather than fess up to who the real rhymer was, Hank went to Caz and asked if he could use some rhymes. Caz agreed because he figured that Hank would help him get hooked up later on. He never did.
“Rapper’s Delight” was released in July of 1979 by the Sugarhill Gang and went on to sell two million copies. Caz never received any royalties or credit for his rhymes.
Caz did find success with Cold Crush. They had flashy costumes and synchronized routines and basically set the standard for live shows of the time.
They began to attract so much attention that various crews stepped up to battle them. Caz once said, “It’s like I don’t care if God, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus, come down here to battle us, we bustin’ they ass.”
One of the most featured pairings was when they would meet up with Grand Wizard Theodore and The Fantastic Five. These two crews battled in Wild Style and both appeared on the soundtrack. They also battle on the recently released battle tape “Live at Harlem World 1981.”
Other highlights include going to Japan, in 1982, on the Wild Style tour, the first in Japan. They were also the first crew signed to CBS records, through the Tuff City label.
They went on to release the following singles: “The Weekend,” “Punk Rock Rap,” “Fresh , Wild, Fly, and Bold,” and “Heartbreakers.”
They never released a full length album, but check out “Live in 82″ to hear what a hip hop show was like before you could find in all over tv and radio. Check out the quote from that album. “Ya’ll gotta excuse us, we can’t bounce as much as we want to cause if we bounce too much the record’ll jump.”
Now that’s old school…..
Solo efforts by Caz included “Mister Bill”, “Count Basie”, “Casanova’s Rap”, “Get Down Grandmaster”, and “I’m Caz” in the late 80’s all on Tuff City Records. They were mostly ignored.
In 1988, Kay Gee and Tony released an album called “Troopers.” Kay Gee also had some success as a solo artist on B-Boy with an EP in 1987 called “She’s a Dog”/”When No One Cares”/”Big Beat”/”My Record Is Hot”.
They released a 12″ back in ’95 on Jazz Child with the full line-up called “Ya Can’t do Me nada” which was fresh, but sounded like a cross between g-funk and the Wu Tang.
Most recently they appeared on with Terminator X on his solo album.
Various members of the group have made live appearances across the country.
At one point Easy AD was working on a web site dedicated to the group.
Almighty KG’s career included collaborations with such artists as C&C Music Factory, KRS-1, FunkMaster Flex, and Doug E Fresh. Recently, he produced the song, “Flesh not Bone”, on The Spooks new album. He also contributed to the soundtrack and wrote the score for the HBO movie, “Disappearing Acts”. He is involved in a project titled “Voices of Hip Hop” focused on reaching the youth and donating proceeds to charitable causes. The project educates the youth on issues including: Aids, police brutality, teen pregnancy and young men and women in jail, among others. Currently the President of Killer Groove Productions.
Grandmaster Caz released a record in 1999 on Jazz Child Records. In 2000, he released “MC Delight” as a comeback to him not receiving credit for “Rapper’s Delight”.
The group performed at the grand opening of the new Experience Music Project in Seattle. With LL Cool J, they brought down the house during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhyme and Rage” exhibit when it opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in September of 2001.
Sadly Money Ray, passed away suddenly in October 2002 of cancer.
Official Sites – coldcrushbrothers.com & tonycrush.com
Check out the Cold Crush Brothers Live in Harlem World in 1981
Additional information provided by Da Original Easy Tee, Ed Roberts and ToolsofWar