With the success of Netflix’s new show The Get Down, the work of foundational hip-hop figures is getting new shine almost 40 years down the line. While he isn’t explicitly name dropped in the show, Fab 5 Freddy‘s contributions to the visual pillar of hip-hop is almost unmatched as the one of the first graffiti artists to exhibit their work in a fine art gallery; a true ambassador for the culture, and remains that to this day.
His last appearance on wax came was the legendary 1982 cut “Change The Beat,” which was instantly embraced as early sample fodder by the likes of Herbie Hancock for his iconic 1983 synth blitz “Rockit.” Today Freddy strikes back with his first musical collaboration since ’82, gracing Vex Ruffin‘s relentless house-inflected track “The Balance” with a few playful lines, brought to life by a gorgeously vivid visual, wholly in the spirit of Freddy’s famous stroke. Watch the video for Vex Ruffin and Fab 5 Freddy’s “The Balance” down below and scroll down to read the legend’s statement on the collaboration.
“I liked the way this idea organically developed and I began to see my involvement as a sort of art performance piece. The track reminded me of cool dance records that downtown NY DJ’s played back then in the 80’s at places like The Mudd Club, The Garage, Area, Danceteria and Nells where I hung out so I put myself in that mindset when working on my lyrics for this song.”