John Fletcher passed away yesterday. I know that name doesn’t sound familiar to most people. He was better known by his stage name Ecstasy. Again … I’m seeing blank stares.
Ecstasy was in a rap group with his friends Jalil Hutchens and Drew Carter – and as Jalil, Ecstasy and Grandmaster Dee, they were the rap trio Whodini.
Yes, Whodini you recognize.
Whodini was a phenomenal and successful rap group in the 1980’s, with several different R&B and dance hits, and a few songs that even crossed over to the pop charts. The songs were full of positive messages and fun, and the group operated in the same mode as other rap groups at the time – Run-D.M.C., Salt-n-Pepa, UTFO – a couple of front rappers, and a turntablist who could hold keep the beat pumping morning, noon and night.
So in honor and in memory of John “Ecstasy” Fletcher … let’s play some Whodini today.
Technically, the first time anyone heard of Whodini was with the release of this track “Magic’s Wand,” an homage to radio personality Mr. Magic of WBLS. Oh, and the synth track for “Magic’s Wand” – that’s courtesy of Thomas Dolby. Yep, that Thomas Dolby.
After the success of “Magic’s Wand,” Whodini knocked it out of the park with their double-sided jam, the casual rap track “Friends,” which was the A-side…
But the B-side of “Friends,” a killer track called “Five Minutes of Funk,” was their best early track. Fight me if you think I’m wrong.
And you can’t go wrong with a floor-packing jam like “Freaks Come Out at Night.” Which has a refrain that can be sung any time you see some girl that looks like she stumbled out of a Rick James music video.
Time for Grandmaster Dee to show his skills, with this nice track “Funky Beat.”
One more track from Whodini, this was their incredible slow-jam new-jack-swing track “One Love.” Still enjoy it today.
Here’s Whodini in concert, performing their signature hit “Friends” to a very appreciative crowd. Song never gets old.
Rest in glory, John Fletcher. Much love. Much respect. Much honor.