AMM Fab 5 Freddy insight: Jean-Michel Basquiat

“When Jean-Michel was nice, he was excessively nice. But when he was mean, he could also be excessively mean. He was able to freeze a person up, just with a look. And he was able to hit that same mark with his paintings.” Fab 5 Freddy

Fred Brathwaite more popularly known as Fab 5 Freddy, is an American visual artist, filmmaker, rapper and hip hop pioneer. He emerged in New York’s downtown underground creative scene in the late 1970s as a camera operator and a regular guest on Glenn O’Brien‘s public access cable show TV Party. There he met Chris Stein and Debbie Harry. He was immortalized in 1981 when Harry rapped on the Blondie song “Rapture” that “Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody’s fly.” In the late 1980s, Fab 5 Freddy became the first host of the groundbreaking and first internationally telecast hip-hop music video show Yo! MTV Raps.