Grandmaster Flash has become the first DJ and Rapper to win Sweden’s Polar Prize a.k.a ‘the Music Nobel Prize’. Previous winners of the prestigious award include Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Yo-Yo Ma, B.B King and Stevie Wonder.
Joseph Saddler a.k.a Grandmaster Flash has won Sweden’s Polar Prize, marking the first DJ and rapper to win the esteemed award.
Grandmaster Flash or real name Joseph Saddler had the privilege of accepting the award from the King of Sweden, who said the award is to honour every DJ, rapper, graffiti artist, and break-dancer.
The Polar Prize has been running since 1989 when it was founded by Stig Anderson, former manager of ABBA owner of Polar Records, from which the prize takes its name who was lyricist and manager for ABBA. Also to win the award this year include German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and The Playing for Change Foundation. Each recipient receives a prize of one million Swedish Kronor, roughly $154,000 AUD.
In his acceptance speech, Saddler mentioned the early days of the hip hop scene as well as some of his early influences.
“This thing that I did had not existed before, and I am one of many where I come from. It ended up being called hip-hop, taking the drum break from pop, rock, jazz, blues, funk, disco, R+B, and using duplicate copies of records. I would take one section and repeat it over and over again. This self-made music bed served for the break-dancers, and later, for the MCs.”