Music

Whodini’s Ecstasy Has Reportedly Died At 56

Rap pioneer John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, of the seminal hip-hop trio Whodini, has reportedly died at the age of 56, according to The Roots drummer Questlove, who posted a fond farewell to the iconic rapper on Instagram. “One love to Ecstasy of the legendary Whodini,” wrote Questlove, who did not cite a news source, but is well-connected in the music business and is usually among the first to react to news involving old-school rap heroes. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip-hop.”

Quest isn’t exaggerating. Formed in 1982, Whodini was one of the early hip-hop groups that emerged during the nascent genre’s initial explosion of well-known hits. Along with Jalil Hutchins and DJ Drew Carter (aka Grandmaster Dee), Fletcher’s foundational contributions to the culture included the hit records “Friends” and “Freaks Come Out at Night.” They were among the first groups to add R&B to their songs, as well as the first to release a music video, which was for their song “Magic’s Wand.” They also pioneered the incorporation of dancers to their live shows — dancers who would later go on to form the group UTFO. They were honored in 2007 at the fourth Vh1 Hip Hop Honors.

Ecstasy’s death is being mourned by some of hip-hop’s most prominent voices, including historians Nelson George and Dart Adams. His contributions to the culture will be remembered fondly and he will be missed.

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