I was fairly big into rap music in high school. I remember not liking Grandmaster Flash as much as Whodini, Egyptian Lover, and L.L. Cool J. But of course what made Grandmaster Flash different is that they covered more "serious" topics such as drugs, crime, etc. in some of their raps, so they are the ones that got noticed by the intellectuals. Compare:
Street kid gets arrested
Gonna do some time
He'll get out three years from now
just to commit more crime
My radio, believe me I like it loud!
I'm the man with the box that can rock the crowd,
Walking down the street
to the hard core beat
While my J V C vi-BRATES the concrete!
The first is in the Smithsonian. The second set up L.L. Cool J for a career in TV and movies. Sadly, in sync with the lowbrow tastes of the rest of America, I have to say I prefer L.L. Cool J too!