Clarence Reid's persona was characterized by glitzy superhero costumes, his self-proclaimed "porno funk" sound, and his proclivity to spit vulgar rhymes. Blowfly recently entered hospice care after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure, and peacefully passed awat last night. He was 76.
Reid's musical career began long before his vulgar alter-ego was unveiled in the 70s. Reid was an R&B singer-producer-songwriter, who built a body of his own work and penning hits for other artists such as Betty Wright, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Gwen McCrae throughout the 60s.
As the masked artist, Blowfly worked with tireless dedication to release new material, as well as performing, and spent more than 40 years putting out 26 albums and counting. Apparently Reid has one more Blowfly record, 77 Rusty Trombones, slated to come out posthumously next month. The Blowfly act became a thing of major legend and influence, one often cited as laying the groundwork for hip-hop, and amassing a giant following from celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Flying Lotus, Ice T, Dam Funk, Kool Keith, Too $hort, DJ Quik, and countless artists who sampled his beats including Mista Grimm's Indo Smoke, in which they sampled “Blowfly’s Rapp", one of his biggest hits.
Although the nature of his lyrics kept him from mainstream appeal, his counterculture messages earned the artist a strong niche following, notching such popular numbers as "Shitting on the Dock of the Bay," "Shake Your Ass," and "Rap Dirty," among many, many others.
Watch The Weird World of Blowfly below.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/_yH32VeQLF0 @blowflyofficial A photo posted by Dr Philadelphia (@officialkoolkeith) on