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Fab Five Freddy

Fred Brathwaite (born 1959), more popularly known as Fab 5 Freddy, is an American Hip hop historian, Hip hop pioneer and former graffiti artist. He was active in New York City in the 1970s and early 1980s, and later hosted the first hip-hop music video show on TV, Yo! MTV Raps. As a young teenager in the 1970s Fab 5 Freddy was a member of the Brooklyn based graffiti group "The Fabulous 5." He got his name for consistent graffiti "bombing" of the number 5 train on the IRT. Outside of the Fabulous 5 group, in 1980, he painted a subway train with cartoon style depictions of giant Campbell's Soup cans, after Andy Warhol. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he was an unofficial bridge between the uptown graffiti and early rap scene and the downtown art and punk music scenes. “I was bringing the whole music, hip-hop, art, break dancing and urban cultural thing to the downtown table” he said. At the end of 1980, Glenn O'Brien cast Freddy, along with fellow Lower East Side graffiti writer Lee Quinones, in the film New York Beat (later released as Downtown 81). That film showcased artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in his Lower Manhattan environment and the culture that surrounded it.

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