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Pellissippi State hosts hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash

Hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash in front of a colorful mural

Hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash is coming to Pellissippi State on Oct. 6.

Hip-hop innovator Grandmaster Flash is coming to Pellissippi State Community College next month – and you’re invited to experience his master class on the Birth of a Culture. 

Grandmaster Flash will hold an audio and visual lecture and demonstration 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. The event is free and open to the public. 

“Student Engagement and Leadership caters to all our students, and this event targets nontraditional students but also will teach our traditional students the history of what they know today,” said SEAL Coordinator Delnita Evans. “So much of their music today is sampled from those that laid the foundation. Why not host the pioneer of what we know, love and continue to use in music today? If it weren’t for Grandmaster Flash, our TikTok sound bites wouldn’t be a thing.”  

Grandmaster Flash is one of hip-hop’s original innovators. From the South Bronx in the early 1970s, he manipulated music by placing his fingers on the vinyl, perfected beat looping and discovered many of the most iconic beats still sampled today.  

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was the first rap group induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From his electric live shows to his production role on Netflix’s “The Get Down,” Grandmaster Flash is a historian, storyteller and a cultural force.  

Grandmaster Flash’s appearance at Pellissippi State will be an educational, entertaining and interactive experience. He will show the audience how, as a teenager, he used his knowledge of electronic repair to begin experimenting in his bedroom with different styles and techniques. As the architect of the quick mix theory and science behind turntablism, Grandmaster Flash will visually lay out these formulas and concepts using two turntables equipped with live cameras. He also will show classic footage of his extensive record collection and treat the audience to some rare break beats. 

The mission of Pellissippi State is to provide a transformative environment fostering the academic, social, economic and cultural enrichment of the individual and the community. For more information about the college, visit or call 865.694.6400.