Kidd Creole’s tragic demise ends with his conviction in New York City, where he is stabbed to death

He’s a long way from “freedom” now.

Bronx-born rapper Kidd Creole, a member of the seminal hip-hop band Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, who spawned the hits “Freedom” and “The Message,” suffered a devastating fall from grace this week when he was convicted of manslaughter.

The 61-year-old rap legend, whose real name is Nathaniel Glover, was at the peak of his career in the 1980s – his life filled with exciting sell-out shows, a national tour and a platinum record.

In September 1982, he took the stage at the then-popular Peppermint Lounge in Midtown to screaming fans. His band had just released the chart-topping The Message, a funky, poetic tune that preached survival in the urban jungle.

Forty years later, he faces up to 25 years in prison when he is convicted of the murder on May 5th fatal stabbing of a homeless manJohn Jolly, in 2017.

At the time the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was arrested for the crimeWorking as a handyman and living in a seedy tenement in the Bronx, he was a far cry from his early hip-hop glory days.

The star’s tragic downfall was marked by drug addiction, minor gun arrests, and a then-burgeoning rap industry that failed to adequately compensate artists, according to reports and his former promoter.

Hip-hop pioneer Kidd Creole listens to closing arguments before being convicted of manslaughter in the Manhattan Supreme Court on April 6, 2022.
Stephen Hirsch

“He was a young black kid brought out of the ghetto to play in 15,000 to 20,000 seat arenas,” Van Silk, the band’s promoter at the time, told the Post Thursday. “He was a pioneer – someone everyone looked up to, but he didn’t make the money that today’s artists make.”

Glover’s career began in the 1970s when he and his little brother Melvin, aka Melle Mel, joined Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – first playing in bars, parks and even high school gyms around the Big Apple.

Registered sex offender John Jolly was stabbed to death overnight in 2017.
Rapper Kidd Creole allegedly stabbed homeless man John Jolly to death in 2017.

Alongside DJ Grandmaster Flash, the band consisted of Eddie “Scorpio” Morris and Guy Todd “Rahiem” Williams, and Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins.

“They played hole-in-the-wall clubs and sometimes rented out school gyms for a salary of $15 or $20,” Silk said. “We didn’t even have a name for hip-hop back then; we still called it disco rhymes.”

The group soon moved to bigger clubs, signed to Sugar Hill Records and released their debut single “Superappin” in 1979.

While Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel were the band’s biggest stars, Glover was the “more prolific” musician — with a signature “echo chamber” style, Silk said.

In 1980 the group released more hits including “Freedom”, “Birthday Party” and Flash’s influential single “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”.

Their biggest hits “The Message” and “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” came in 1982 and 1983, respectively – back when there wasn’t even a hip-hop category on the Billboard charts.

But behind the scenes, some band members were struggling with cocaine addiction, according to the hip-hop news site

The band broke up in the mid-’80s, and by the time they got back together years later, the magic was gone, Silk said.

Rappers Shame, Kidd Creole, Rahiem and Broadway of the rap group
Bronx native Kidd Creole (left) rose to fame as a member of legendary rap group Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.
Raymond Boyd/Archive Michael Ochs/Getty Images

“[Glover] didn’t have a big hit … and by the time the group got back together it was too late,” he said. “These guys came into existence before there was a hip-hop music industry.”

In 1995, Glover was arrested for possession of a loaded 9mm handgun and live ammunition, and arrested again in 2007 on gun charges for possession of a gravity knife.

Despite this, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, which Glover attended while wearing a smart purple vest and bow tie.

Kidd Creole with rapper Ice-T during the 2005 VH1 Hip Hop Awards.
Kidd Creole with Ice-T at the 2005 VH1 Hip Hop Awards.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

The rapper spent almost five years behind bars while awaiting his trial in the Manhattan Supreme Court in the case of manslaughter.

His attorney blamed Jolly’s death on a mixture of alcohol and the sedative Versed, which he was given at the hospital because he was combative during proceedings with emergency responders.

Echoing Glover’s legal defense, Silk said, “The guy didn’t die because of [a] puncture wound; He died from the doses of medicine they gave him. [Glover] should have been released from prison.

Leave a Comment