14. Februar 1939
Cochran, Bleckley County, Georgia, Vereinigte Staaten
17. Januar 2016 (mit 76 Jahren)
Blowfly is the stage name and alternate persona of Clarence Reid (b. February 14, 1945 in Cochran, Georgia) who was a songwriter for many hit R&B acts in the 1960s and 1970s. As Blowfly, he has recorded numerous albums, mostly of sex-based parodies of other songs as well as original raps themed around sex. His stage name originated from his grandmother, who overheard him as a child singing "Do the Twist" as "Suck My Dick", and said "You is nastier than a blowfly." An alternate spelling used for his name on some of his early recordings is Blow Fly.
Reid started off writing songs for artists including Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Gwen McRae and KC & the Sunshine Band. He also recorded a few hits of his own in the 60's including "Nobody But You Babe" under his real name and a Blowfly song called "Rap Dirty" in 1965. Many hip hop fans consider "Rap Dirty" as the first rap song because in he talks in rhyme and it has rap (slang for talk) in the title.
Reid would write sexually explicit versions of hit songs for fun but only performed them for his friends at parties or in the studio. In 1971, he along with a band of studio musicians recorded a whole album of "dirty" songs under the name "Blowfly". Back then, no record label would release profane material so he distributed the records himself on his own independent record label, Weird World.
The album, The Weird World of Blowfly, features Reid dressed as a low-rent supervillain on its cover. Reid created this alter ego to protect his career as a songwriter. Reid continued to perform in increasingly bizarre costumes as his Blowfly character. The albums were widely popular as "party records" in the 70's.
Many of Blowfly's songs featured his style of talking in rhyme which can be considered a primitive form of rapping. Many of his songs have also been sampled in numerous hip hop songs. After rap music hit the mainstream with Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", Reid recorded a profane version of "Rap Dirty" titled "Blowfly's Rapp ". The song was a hit and helped the album, Blowfly's Party reach #26 on Billboard magazine's Black Albums chart and #82 on the Billboard Top 200 in 1980.
Blowfly's profane style earned Reid legal trouble. He was sued by songwriter Stanley Adams, who was ASCAP president at the time, for spoofing "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" as "What a Difference a Lay Makes". A record store in Alabama was prosecuted for selling his album, Porno Freak.
Samples of Blowfly and Clarence Reid songs have appeared on hit albums by The 2 Live Crew, the Jurassic 5, Wu Tang Clan, DJ Quik, Method Man & Redman, DMX, Beyonce, Puff Daddy, Scarface, Slim Thug, Ice Cube, Da Brat and others.
After 17 years of sporadic touring and occasional re-recording of his classic raps, Blowfly signed with Jello Biafra's independent Alternative Tentacles label in 2005. His first album for Alternative Tentacles, Fahrenheit 69 (2005), featured appearances from Slug of Atmosphere, King Coleman, Gravy Train, and Afroman. During a tour to promote Fahrenheit 69, Blowfly and his band's tour van was broken into overnight, with the thieves stealing several musical instruments as well as some of Reid's Blowfly costumes. Other recent tours have included a headlining appearance at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans and shows with Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite), Devin The Dude, Digital Underground and Blueprint. In March 2007, Blowfly completed his first tour of Australia.
Blowfly's latest album and second Alternative Tentacles release is Blowfly's Punk Rock Party. The album features several punk classics given the Blowfly treatment, including a rewrite of the Dead Kennedys song "Holiday in Cambodia" recast as "R. Kelly in Cambodia", that features Biafra (the song's composer and original vocalist) playing a trial judge.
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