Farewell Malcolm McLaren
April 12, 2010
Can we please have a moment of silence . . .
For punk, rock and hip-hop pioneer Malcolm McLaren.
The eccentric self-promoter and manager of the legendary punk band the Sex Pistols passed away last Thursday (April 8) at the age of 64. His significant other, Young Kim, verified that Mr. McLaren died of mesothelioma (a cancer of the linings around organs) at a Switzerland hospital.
Widely regarded as the man who kick-started the British punk movement, McLaren brought his creative mind to the worlds of music and fashion, as well. McLaren's discography ranges from ornate pop-dance music (Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants) to his own 1983 album Duck Rock, along with hip-hop ("Buffalo Gals," World's Famous Supreme Team) and Afro-pop.
"For me Malc was always entertaining, and I hope you remember that," said Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten about his friend and former manager. "Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you."
In 1983, McLaren made his own recording debut, Duck Rock, a collection of songs he recorded during his trip to Africa, which infused African rhythms with the sounds from a burgeoning hip-hop scene with rappers World's Famous Supreme Team ("Buffalo Girls," "Double Dutch"). He would later market (some would say exploit) hip-hop with the D'ya Like Scratchin'? and Would Ya Like More Scratchin'? LPs. All three albums were heavily sampled by your favorite rap artists.
"I first listened to hip-hop in the South Bronx in the days when Afrika Bambaataa was a DJ with a crew," McLaren recalled in an interview with Swindle magazine. "It was around 1980, I was managing Bow Wow Wow and they were playing a showcase gig for the local record company, RCA, then."
"I always thought hip-hop was the black punk rock. It had similar DIY aspects and it was definitely a music that, at first, the [music] industry had no interest in. They knew the idea of recycling all this disposable pop rubbish into something else was not something they would necessarily have control over. There was a censorship by the industry on that culture and I don’t think it ever recovered. It was natural that it was going to follow a road map that would become increasingly driven by money and, thereafter, power. And to some extent, people really looked up to that power. The bling culture for instance."
Malcolm McLaren -- "Double Dutch"
Malcolm McLaren -- "Buffalo Gals"
Malcolm McLaren -- "Hobo Scratch"
Malcolm McLaren -- "World's Famous"
World's Famous Supreme Team -- "Hey DJ"
Rest in Power, Malcolm.