Blowfly Extended Bio

WRITTEN BY:Steven Blush
January 1991

Before there was 2 Live Crew - before there was hip hop, for that matter - there was Blowfly, performing X-rated songs with a funky groove. Born 45 years ago in Cochran, Georiga, Miami's Clarence Reid has recorded more than 40 albums during his illustrious career. He got his nickname as a child when his grandmother, after hearing him sing dirty versions of then popular songs - like "Suck My Dick" for "Do The Twist" - proclaimed, "You is nastier than a blowfly."
In reality, there's a split personality involved in this man's music: there's Blowfly, the outrageously garbed creator of trash classics such as "Shittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and "Porno Freak," and then there's Clarence Reid, who has recorded more than a dozen "clean" albums over the years and penned songs for the likes of K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Gwen McRae, Betty Wright, and Sam ans Dave.
Many people cite Blowfly as being the first rapper with his 1965 "Rap Dirty" record, which was recorded for disco giants T.K. Records after the smash success of Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." Blowfly himself credits the "soul talking" Southern radio DJs of the '50s and '60s as the pioneers of rap, but he is without dispute the first rapper to have a song banned, after an Alabama record store was busted for peddling "Porno Freak." Blowfly was also sued by the President of ASCAP for his "What a Difference a Lay Makes." (The music publishing honcho also happened to be the composer of the popular "What a Difference a Day Makes.")
Blowfly's sounds are a staple of modern-day hip hop. His music has been sampled by many rappers, including his buddies 2 Live Crew.
This year Blowfly hooked up with Fishbone's Fish and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist/wild man Flea to record "Shake Your Thang" (clean) backed iwth "Shake Your Ass" (X-rated), both of which are included on the soundtrack of Blow's new film, The Twisted World of Blowfly.
Over the years, Blowfly's seen a lot of his contemporaries fall by the way side. His survival can partially be credited to the fact that while Blowfly is totally wacked in the head, Reid is a God-fearing, Bible-carrying Christian. " I never drink, never smoke, and I never use drugs," confesses Reid. "I may go to hell, but it won't be for those things!"
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