Fab 5 Freddy is our Music Director from December 2021 / January 2022


The hip-hop and street-art pioneer was an integral part of the downtown New York City creative scene in the ’70s and’ 80s, performing alongside Afrika Bambaataa and Rock Steady Crew and featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring among his closest contemporaries and collaborators. . Inspired by Andy Warhol, Brathwaite and his friends began to organize more inclusive art exhibitions that functioned like parties, with live bands and DJ sets. “We wanted to have fun, make music and not see our art in a cheesy ‘art world’ way,” he says. “We wanted to shake up all that. Five decades later, Brathwaite continues to create and exhibit his work, and he recently joined the Burning Man Project board. For this issue, he’s curated an art-themed playlist, choosing songs that offer “a taste of what a walk with me in New York is like”. With Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby,” Brathwaite included Machine’s 1979 hit, “There But for the Grace of God Go I,” which he said was “a theme song from that era,” as well as the deep cut “Yuletide Throwdown”, a Christmas track he recorded with Blondie in 1981 and which was reissued this fall.

Listen to the complete Fab 5 Freddy playlist exclusively on Apple Music below.

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This article originally appeared in the December 2021 / January 2022 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, available on newsstands December 7.


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