Whodini ¦ Escape

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Two members of Whodini looking through a wrought-iron fence
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 17, 1984 (1984-10-17)
StudioBattery Studios, London
GenreHip hop
ProducerLarry Smith
Whodini chronology
Back in Black
Singles from Escape
  1. "Friends"
    Released: July 20, 1984[1]
  2. "Freaks Come Out at Night"
  3. "Big Mouth"
  4. "Escape (I Need a Break)"

Escape is the second studio album by the hip-hop group Whodini.


The album was recorded at Battery Studios in London, where the group worked with producer Larry Smith after their management could not find them a producer. Whodini member Jalil Hutchins convinced Smith, his friend, to produce the album when Smith needed money after a friend's hospitalisation. Although the group originally intended to record more rock-oriented material for the album, its music has a predominantly synthesizer-based backing, with a rhythm and blues influence.

The album was a critical success upon release, and was praised by NME and Robert Christgau. It was also commercially successful, being the first hip-hop album to chart within the U.S. top 40, and was also one of the first to be certified platinum by the RIAA.


After working on their debut self-titled album, Whodini embarked on a three-month European tour.[2] Two-and-a-half weeks into this tour, they were joined by Kangol Kid and UTFO.[2] The group had also planned to tour in Israel and Australia following their European tour, but refused to do so, as they had been away from home for three weeks and found the tour "rigorous".[2] Singer-songwriter Jalil Hutchins later said, "Somebody should've stepped in and made us [continue the tour]."[2] Whodini member John Fletcher (Ecstasy) said that the group thought European audiences would be unfamiliar with their music, but they "found that lots of kids, lots of club owners, had made a real effort to get hold of our music. When we discovered that, we realized that the music we were working with really was universal, that we didn't have to think of a particular market. People everywhere like to dance, sweat and party, and they like the same kind of sounds."[3]

The group worked well with German producer Conny Plank on Whodini, and were trying to find a similar producer.[2] According to Hutchins, "Conny had an understanding of what hip hop was, and if we had an understanding of how to explain it to these musicians who were far ahead of us, we would've produced some special records. On the next album, we decided that we needed to get somebody from [the US] that understood where we were coming from."[2] Although Jive Records initially hired Russell Simmons and Larry Smith to produce Escape, commitments in New York kept Simmons from recording sessions.[4] Hutchins had met Smith at Disco Fever in New York City;[2] although they were friends and often discussed music, he said that they did not originally consider working together.[2] Jive Records could not find a producer, and Hutchins asked Smith to come to Europe and produce the album.[2] The producer initially refused for financial reasons,[2] but called Hutchins the following day saying that he needed money to pay a hospital bill for a friend who had his finger tips ripped off.[2] Smith and Hutchins then quickly met to develop music to show to the label,[2] recording the bass for "Five Minutes of Funk".[2]

Ecstasy and Flavor Flav onstage at a festival
Ecstasy and Flavor Flav in 2009; Ecstasy was pleasantly surprised by Whodini's overseas popularity after the release of their first album.

Escape was recorded in 16 days at Battery Studios in London,[2][5] with Hutchins often writing lyrics in the studio.[2] He found it difficult to write a complete song at home, and finished the lyrics later.[2] Hutchins worked well with Smith, and said that the producer became involved in the music-making and "would start talking a lot of shit to us to let us feel like he felt".[2] Smith's presence is evident on "Friends", whose beat was (according to Hutchins) "nothing like the way it sounded after he got to it".[2] Whodini often argued with the studio personnel; Hutchins said that he "never seen studio sessions like ours. Criticism would be flying around that studio like skyrockets and bullets ... But we knew we got something right when Larry started grabbing his dick, and that was the craziest thing in the world."[2] Smith encouraged Whodini to use a variety of instruments on each track, from Linn LM-1 and Roland TR-707 drum machines to a Fender Jazz Bass.[2]


The music on Escape, in particular "Five Minutes of Funk", was originally intended to be rock music oriented, with Hutchins suggesting that the song would be similar to the "rawer" work of groups such as The Isley Brothers.[2] Whodini had planned to use a Minimoog synthesizer on the track, although Smith left his at home, assuming that he could find one in the United Kingdom.[2] Unable to locate one, the group then heard Run–D.M.C.'s "Rock Box" and decided to follow a more R&B-oriented direction.[2] Smith said that although he was told by Jive Records to make the album sound like Run–D.M.C., he "didn't want to do exactly that. Whodini's a bit more adult, I think, and rap's not just for kids anymore."[4]

The record has been called "rhythm & blues-based rap", and has been cited as a major influence on new jack swing—a hip-hop-influenced form of funk which became the dominant form of contemporary R&B from 1987 to 1993.[6][7] Nelson George described Escape's music as a style which "black radio embraces", specifically a "radio-friendly, singles-oriented hip hop", as opposed to the "hard-core, more rhyme-centered rap".[7] Retrospective commentary on their music suggested that, although the group sounded tame when compared to the later work of artists such as Too Short and Ol' Dirty Bastard, as well as groups like 2 Live Crew, Whodini were considered "raunchy and racy" during the mid-1980s on songs such as "Freaks Come Out at Night".[6]

Unlike other hip-hop musicians, Whodini's backing music and beats were synthesizer-based.[8] Escape contains tracks with minimal musical backing, such as "Big Mouth" and "Friends", and faster-paced music such as "Escape (I Need a Break)".[8] Hutchins believed that the Fender Jazz Bass was part of Whodini's signature sound, and used it on "Five Minutes of Funk".[2] Escape's lyrics are generally egocentric, but also explored the difficulty of city life ("Escape (I Need a Break)"), failed romance ("Friends") and New York's party lifestyle ("Freaks Come Out at Night").[9]


The album was released on October 17, 1984 by Jive Records.[2] The group had a developed a large following in Britain and Europe prior to the release of Escape, although success in the United States had initially been limited. "Five Minutes of Funk" and "Freaks Come Out at Night" became their first legitimate hits in their home country. According to The New York Times, these could be "heard almost constantly in New York dance clubs, as well as on local urban-contemporary radio stations."[10] Ecstasy said that audiences were finally ready for hip-hop music, and Whodini were "just beginning to break through on radio. Rather than listening to Stevie Wonder or someone do an inferior version of rap, people want to hear the real thing, with the original complexity to it. This is the most complex, interesting stuff going on in black music today, and the radio's just beginning to discover that the public eats it up."[3] By December 1984, the 7- and 12-inch singles "Friends" and "Five Minutes of Funk" were approaching sales of 350,000, and received more airplay than the "Magic's Wand" and "Haunted House of Rock" from Whodini's first album.[4] Billboard reported the airplay, noting that despite the increased play, the songs were unreported and often played during the night.[4] The month before Escape's release, Whodini appeared at the 1984 Swatch Watch New York City Fresh Fest as part of the first national tour featuring hip-hop groups.[11] The 27-date tour featured Run–D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys and Newcleus,[11] and grossed $3.5 million.[7]

Escape was the first hip-hop album to break into the top 40 of the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart.[12] By 1986, Escape and Run–D.M.C.'s Raising Hell were the bestselling hip-hop albums; both were certified platinum by the RIAA.[13] Comparing the groups in 1986, the Los Angeles Times reported: "Though Whodini's record sales are impressive, Run-D.M.C. has been a greater media attraction and a bigger critical favorite."[14] Escape was re-released on compact disc in 2011 by the Traffic Group with several bonus tracks.[15]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[8]
Robert ChristgauB+[16]
Wisconsin State Journal2/5 stars[17]

In a contemporary review, Robert Christgau gave Escape a grade of B+ and wrote that Hutchins and Smith "turn out ingratiating variations on a formula. Fortunately, the formula isn't tired yet."[16] Although Christgau found the lyrics of "Freaks Come Out at Night" less intellectual than "Escape" or "Friends" and less musically interesting than "Five Minutes of Funk", he still considered it a strong song.[16] NME described Escape as superior to Whodini's first album and praised Smith's production, writing that his "sparse DMC sound here gives way to a rich and warm electronic soundscape".[18] They went on to dub the title track as being the best song on the album, followed by "Big Mouth", "Out of Control", "We Are Whodini" and "Friends". They went on to say that "Featuring Grandmaster Dee" was Escape's weak link, calling it a "pointless instrumental reworking of "Five Minutes of Funk"."[18] Spin praised "Escape (I Need a Break)", comparing it to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message", writing that Whodini's song "focuses on the guy affected by social condition, not on the condition itself."[19] Frances Litman wrote in Times Colonist that Escape "isn't bad (nor is it good)" comparing it favorably to West Street Mob's Break Dance Electric Boogie declaring Whodini "musically more mature than many of their counterparts" while stating both albums "are excessive in dragging out each song to nauseating limits of vinyl boredom" and that "Escape offers nothing more than the usual run of the rap."[20] James Henke writing for Wisconsin State Journal gave the album a two out of five star rating, declaring the album "rap music for people who just want to party and don't want to have to think about the kinds of issues raised by someone like Afrika Bambaataa", concluding it was "not very interesting."[17]

Among retrospective reviews, Fact noted that Escape was "eclipsed by the antics of the new school" and that it had "tumbled off of most casual fans' bucket lists."[21] According to AllMusic, the album was a "vast improvement over the previous year's debut" with "a countless amount of memorable lines and productions, and has held up over time better than the debut", but that it was not "a conceptual masterpiece."[8] The reviewer called "Freaks Come Out at Night" and "Five Minutes of Funk" classics, and said that "We Are Whodini" "distills the essence of the group more than the other groundbreaking tracks here, and still retains a sense of freshness."[8] Trouser Press found the album "airy without being simple", and called it appealing and innovative.[9] Fact placed Escape at number 98 on their list of top 1980s albums, calling it "diverting from end to end – something Spoonie G, The Cold Crush Brothers and The Furious Five conspicuously failed to deliver."[21]

Track listing

All songs are produced by Larry Smith.[5][22]

Side A
1."Five Minutes of Funk"Jalil Hutchins, Ecstacy, Larry Smith5:25
2."Freaks Come out at Night"Hutchins, Smith4:45
3."Featuring Grand Master Dee"Smith5:45
4."Big Mouth"Hutchins, Smith2:57
Side B
5."Escape (I Need a Break)"Hutchins, Smith3:40
6."Friends"Hutchins, Smith4:40
7."Out of Control"Smith4:14
8."We Are Whodini"Hutchins, Ecstacy, Larry Smith7:05
Escape  — 2011 Traffic bonus track reissue[15]
9."Escape (I Need a Break)" (Special Extended Mix)Hutchins, Smith5:21
10."Escape (I Need a Break)" (A Capella)Hutchins, Smith1:46
11."Escape (I Need a Break)" (Instrumental)Hutchins, Smith3:38
12."Five Minutes of Funk" (Instrumental)Hutchins, Smith5:44
13."Freaks Come Out at Night" (Instrumental)Hutchins, Smith4:45
14."Friends" (Instrumental)Hutchins, Smith4:44
15."Big Mouth" (Beat Box Mix)Hutchins, Smith5:05
16."Big Mouth" (A Capella Mix)Hutchins, Smith2:56
17."Grandmaster Dee's Haunted Scratch"Hutchins, Smith3:32


Chart (1985)Peak
US Billboard 200[23]35


RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[24]Platinum1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Credits are adapted from the sleeve, sticker and back cover of Escape.[5]

  • Larry Smith – Producer
  • Nigel Green – Engineer
  • Ian Hooton – Sleeve photography
  • The Fish Family – Sleeve design

See also


  1. ^ "Friends / Jalil Hutchins, Larry Smith ; [performed by] Whodini. Friends :..." United States Copyright Office. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Williams, Chris (December 3, 2014). "Key Tracks: Whodini's Escape". Red Bull Music Academy. Archived from the original on 19 May 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Lacey, Liam (December 21, 1984). "RIFF RAP Adams' Album Sets a Brisk Pace". The Globe and Mail. p. E13.
  4. ^ a b c d Weinger, Harry (December 1, 1984). "Whodini Makes 'Friends' at Radio, Retail". Billboard. Vol. 96 no. 48. pp. 60–61. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ a b c Escape [back cover] (Media notes). Whodini. Jive Records. JV-6617.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. ^ a b Rabaka 2013, p. 83.
  7. ^ a b c George 2005, p. 89.
  8. ^ a b c d e Elias, Jason. "Escape - Whodini". AllMusic. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Robbins 1991, p. 730.
  10. ^ Palmer, Robert (February 4, 1985). "Street-Smart Rapping is Innovative Art Form". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Time Bomb". Vibe. Vol. 2 no. 10. Vibe Media Group. 1994. p. 71. ISSN 1070-4701.
  12. ^ McCoy 1992, p. 215.
  13. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  14. ^ Matsumoto, Jon (May 29, 1986). "Whodini: 'It's Our Turn' To Claim The Rap Crown". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Elias, Jason. "Escape - Whodini". AllMusic. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "Consumer Guide Album". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Henke 1985.
  18. ^ a b Witter, Simon (February 23, 1985). "Run-D.M.C.: King Of Rock (Profile/Island); Whodini: Escape (Jive)". NME.
  19. ^ Leland, John (September 1985). "Singles". Spin. Vol. 1 no. 5. SPIN Media LLC. p. 33. ISSN 0886-3032.
  20. ^ Litman 1985.
  21. ^ a b "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". Fact. June 24, 2013. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  22. ^ Escape [vinyl sticker] (Media notes). Whodini. Jive Records. JV-6617.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  23. ^ "Whodini Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Whodini – Escape". Recording Industry Association of America.

Works cited

  • George, Nelson (2005). Post-Soul Nation: The Explosive, Contradictory, Triumphant, and Tragic 1980s as Experienced by African Americans (Previously Known as Blacks and Before That Negroes). Penguin Books. ISBN 0143034472.
  • Henke, James (February 10, 1985). "Recordings". Wisconsin State Journal. p. 3.
  • McCoy, Judy (1992). Rap Music in the 1980s: A Reference Guide. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810826496.
  • Rabaka, Reiland (2013). The Hip Hop Movement: From R&B and the Civil Rights Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Generation. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0739181171.
  • Robbins, Ira A., ed. (1991). The Trouser Press Record Guide. Collier Books. ISBN 0020363613.
  • Litman, Frances (January 26, 1985). "At last, A One-writer Soundtrack". Times Colonist. p. C7.


Veröffentlichungen von Whodini die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Escape ¦ Whodini ¦ Greatest Hits (Whodini)

Whodini auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Whodini performing at Fresh Fest in 2009
Whodini performing at Fresh Fest in 2009
Background information
OriginNew York City, U.S.
Years active1982–present[1]
Associated acts
MembersJalil Hutchins
Drew "Grandmaster Dee" Carter
Past membersJohn “Ecstasy” Fletcher (deceased)

Whodini is an American hip hop group that was formed in 1982.[1] The Brooklyn, New York-based trio consisted of vocalist and main lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, a.k.a. Ecstasy (who wore a Zorro-style hat as his trademark); and turntable artist DJ Drew Carter, a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee.[2]

Coming out of the fertile New York rap scene of the early 1980s, Whodini was one of the first rap groups to add a R&B twist to their music, thus laying the foundation for a new genre - new jack swing. The group made its name with good-humored songs such as "Magic's Wand" (the first rap song accompanied by a video), "The Haunted House of Rock", "Friends", "Five Minutes of Funk" and "Freaks Come Out at Night". Live performances of the group were the first rap concerts with the participation of breakdance dancers from the group UTFO. Russell Simmons was the manager of the group in the 1980s.[3]

The group has released six studio albums. 14 singles of the group hit the charts of the American magazine Billboard. Four albums of the group were certified Platinum by RIAA.


Early years

Whodini was among the first hip hop groups to cultivate a high-profile national following for hip hop music and made significant inroads on urban radio.[4] They were contemporaries of other hip hop groups such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa, Run-D.M.C., The Fat Boys and Warp 9. The group signed with London-based independent record label Jive Records in 1982;[4] they enjoyed a string of hits for several years, mostly charting on urban and R&B radio stations. The bulk of production on their releases was done by Larry Smith, a bass player who also handled much of Run-D.M.C.'s early work.

In 1982, Whodini made a rap story with their debut single "Magic's Wand", an ode to rap radio pioneer Mr. Magic,[4] which became the first rap song to receive a music video.[5] Synthpop and electro pioneer Thomas Dolby helped produce this single.[4] "Magic's Wand" also has the distinction of being one of Whodini's most-sampled songs.

On July 8, 1983, the group released the self-titled album Whodini on vinyl and audio cassettes.[4] The album was produced by influential German pioneer Conny Plank at his own studio near Cologne, Germany. On CD, the album was released in the United States only in 2010. The second single, "Haunted House of Rock", was released in time for Halloween, 1983.[4] Whodini combined the goofy fun of The Fat Boys with the virtuosity of Run-D.M.C. to create what is the rap equivalent of horror movies. Heavy on the sound effects, the song is full of references to various famous monsters and boogymen - Dracula, Bloody Mary and the Invisible Man all show up.[6][7]


In 1984, the group released the second album Escape.[4] The entire album was fully produced by Larry Smith. From the laid back groove titled "Five Minutes of Funk" to "Friends", a cynical story of betrayal sampled everywhere from Nas' "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" to 2Pac's "Troublesome '96", to harder edged singles "Freaks Come Out at Nite" and "Big Mouth".[5]

Many of these songs were also groundbreaking in hip hop culture, as each one of the songs told a unique story from the urban perspective. The album ended up being certified for platinum-level sales by the RIAA, selling over one million albums upon its release.[citation needed]

The instrumental version of "Five Minutes of Funk" was used as the theme music for WNYC TV show, Video Music Box,[8] an influential early hip hop music video show. The album is out of print. On May 17, 2011, a deluxe version of Escape was released on CD with nine bonus tracks.

Back in Black

In 1986, the group released a third album Back in Black,[4] fully produced by Smith. A number of songs from the album received heavy local New York airplay, such as "Funky Beat" and the controversial "I'm a Ho". "Fugitive" was guitar-driven funk and "Last Night (I Had a Long Talk With...)" was introspective. Paul Kodish, drummer of Pendulum, was featured on the album.


From 1982 to 1986, the group was at its most productive; they toured with the more successful bands such as Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, The Fat Boys, and other prominent hip hop, R&B and funk bands.[4] The group was involved in the first Fresh Fest tour, which was the first hip hop tour to play large coliseums nationwide.[4] In July 1986, they appeared at Philadelphia's Spectrum Stadium in front of an audience of 18,000.[9] They were the first rap act and break dance troop to tour in the UK and Europe, with UTFO also appearing with them as their break dance act.[4]

Open Sesame and the New School

By 1987, the group had earned its share of gold singles and albums. With the fourth album Open Sesame, its final release of the 1980s,[4] the group had turned away from their once-playful simple beats and catchy rhymes of the old school, and instead became vocally harder and more instrument-driven, with guitars and horns and bells. They even began to sample, as a snippet of Cheryl Lynn's "Got to be Real" is heard on the song "Now That Whodini's Inside the Joint". Smith again produced the entire album except for two tracks, "Be Yourself" and "I'm Def (Jump Back And Kiss Myself)", produced by Sinester.

This new school style had been similarly done almost a year previously, on the multi-million selling debut albums by L.L. Cool J and the Beastie Boys, as many groups had already turned to the kind of rap and rock music that crossed over easily, and Open Sesame failed to produce any real hits.

Although the group was still obligated to Jive Records, for the next few years the band eked out its tenure by occasionally only releasing singles, including "Anyway I Gotta Swing It" for the A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child movie soundtrack.

The 1990s to present

In the 1990s, the band made an attempt at a comeback, and in that same year the group signed with MCA Records and released the fifth album Bag-A-Trix in 1991, which failed to have commercial impact, as it tried again to reinvent using the then-current sound of new jack swing.[4] Smith produced six of the tracks on the album, two of which co-authored with the band Major Jam Productions, which separately produced the other four tracks, and Fresh Gordon made music for the other four songs.

In mid-1994, the group scored a hit single with "It All Comes Down to the Money",[4] which was co-produced by Public Enemy DJ Terminator X on his album Super Bad.

Talks with Def Jam Recordings for a new deal stalled, and in 1996, the group was signed by Jermaine Dupri to his then Columbia Records-distributed So So Def Recordings imprint. As a child in the 1980s, Dupri did a brief stint as a dancer for the group.[10]

Their sixth album Six produced one single, "Keep Running Back", and appeared briefly on the R&B chart. The album was fully produced by Dupri, except for three tracks, which were created by Dave Atkinson and Andy "Red Spyda" Thelusma.

Since the Six album, the group has not released any new music, but its older songs have been featured in many various old school compilations and three greatest-hits collections have been released: The Jive Collection, Vol. 1 in 1995, Rap Attack in 2003, and Funky Beat: The Best of Whodini in 2006, which featured the seven-minute "Whodini Mega Mix", which was a medley of some of the biggest hits.

In recent years, Whodini still tours occasionally, and its old records still surface on pop and R&B radio, especially during old-school mix shows. The group's records have now become sample sources for contemporary emcees such as Nas, Master P, Prodigy, and MF Doom.[11]

In October 2007, Whodini was an honoree at the 4th Vh1 Hip Hop Honors.

In March 2012, Whodini was featured in Season 5 Episode 3 of the TV One hour-long music documentary series, Unsung.

In August 2012, Whodini was presented with the Icon Award by the Underground Music Awards.

In October 2012, Whodini was inducted into the 4th annual Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

On August 16, 2018, the group was awarded the Hip-Hop Icon Award at the third Black Music Honors ceremony held at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, Tennessee.[12]

On December 23, 2020, Fletcher died at the age of 56.[13]


Studio albums

List of studio albums and selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsChart positionsCertifications

  • Released: October 13, 1983
  • Label: Jive Records
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download
  • Released: October 17, 1984
  • Label: Jive Records
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download
Back in Black
  • Released: April 29, 1986
  • Label: Jive Records
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download
Open Sesame
  • Released: August 27, 1987
  • Label: Jive Records
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download
  • Released: March 19, 1991
  • Label: MCA Records
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download
  • Released: September 17, 1996
  • Label: So So Def/Columbia
  • Format: cassette, LP, CD, digital download


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
Billboard Hot 100
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Hot Dance Club Songs
Hot Rap Songs
R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs
1983"Magic's Wand"4511Whodini
"The Haunted House Of Rock"5527
1984"Friends"/"Five Minutes Of Funk"87425Escape
1985"Freaks Come Out At Night"1044325
"Big Mouth"6430
"Escape (I Need A Break)"31
1986"Funky Beat"19Back in Black
"Funky Beat (Remix)"/"Whodini Megamix"30
"One Love"1034
"Growing Up"58
1987"Be Yourself"20Open Sesame
1996"Keep Running Back"692770Six
YearTitleSongRelease Date
1985The Jewel of the Nile"Freaks Come Out at Night"December 11, 1985
1986Trick or Treat"The Haunted House Of Rock"October 24, 1986
1989A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child"anyway I gotta swing it"
1997Chasing Amy"Be Yourself"April 18, 1997
1999The Wood"Freaks Come Out at Night"July 16, 1999
2000Juggalo Championshxt Wrestling Volume 1"Devil Without a Cause"May 9, 2000
2001Glitter"Freaks Come Out at Night"September 21, 2001
2002Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (video game)"Magic's Wand", "Freaks Come Out at Night"October 29, 2002
2005Cursed"Freaks Come Out at Night"March 3, 2005
2005Everybody Hates Chris (TV Series),
episode "Everybody Hates Halloween"
"Freaks Come Out at Night"October 27, 2005
2005Everybody Hates Chris (TV Series),
episode "Everybody Hates Greg"
"Friends"November 24, 2005
2006El cantante"Five Minutes of Funk"September 12, 2006
2006Everybody Hates Chris (TV Series),
episode "Everybody Hates Rejection"
"Five Minutes of Funk"October 1, 2006
2006Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (video game)"Freaks Come Out at Night"October 31, 2006
2006Blood Diamond "From tha Streetz"December 8, 2006
2007Illegal Tender"Friends"August 24, 2007
2014Ping Pong Summer"Friends"June 6, 2014
2014Red Oaks (TV Series),
episode "Pilot"
"Freaks Come Out at Night"August 28, 2014
2015Black-ish (TV Series),
episode "Jacked o' Lantern"
"Freaks Come Out at Night"October 28, 2015



  • 1990 – Rapmania: The Roots of Rap (TV Movie documentary)
  • 2004 – And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop (October 4, 2004)
  • 2012 – Unsung: The Story of Whodini (by TV One) (March 12, 2012)


Video Collection

  • 1986 - Back In Black (RCA / Columbia Pictures Home Video)
  • 1990 - Greatest Rap Video Hits (BMG Video / Zomba Video / Jive)

Samples and remixes

  • The drum beat from "Friends" is sampled in Public Enemy's "Sophisticated Bitch" from the album "Yo Bum Rush The Show".
  • Dr. Dre used the beat of "I'm a Ho" for the Eazy-E song "Boyz-n-the-Hood (Remix)".
  • Bone Thugs N Harmony re-recorded "Friends" and remixed it on The Art of War.
  • The Firm's song "5 Minutes to Flush" samples "5 Minutes Of Funk," and quotes its chorus.
  • Jermaine Dupri's verse in "Welcome to Atlanta" samples the intro to "Five Minutes of Funk".
  • Will Smith's song "Potnas", about friendship, samples "Friends," and quotes its chorus at the beginning.
  • The bassline from "Friends" is sampled in Tupac Shakur's "Troublesome '96". In his unreleased song "Let's Be Friends," he also used the theme of "Friends".
  • "Friends" is sampled in MF DOOM's "Deep Fried Frenz," from the album Mm.. Food.
  • Pastor Troy remixed "Friends" into a song entitled "Benz".
  • Nas used the chorus of the song "One Love" for his song of the same name.
  • The bassline and chorus from "Friends" is sampled in Nas' "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)".
  • In the movie Next Friday, Day-Day and Roach were singing the song "Friends" while being held captive.
  • Ice Cube & Master P's song "You Know I'm a Ho" from The Players Club (soundtrack) is a remake of "I'm a Ho".
  • Beck sampled "Five Minutes of Funk" in his song "Gold Chains"
  • Meshell Ndegeocello covers “Friends” into her song entitled "Come To Me" on her 11th Album "Comet".[22]


  1. ^ a b Frank Tortorici (2000-06-06). "Whodini's Ecstasy". MTV News. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  2. ^ Connolly, John. "Whodini Headlines Peace Hip Hop '09: August 1st". Cityofboston.gov. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Russell Simmons and Rush Productions". Rmc.library.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 366/7. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  5. ^ a b "The Best Rap Albums of the '80s (by ROB KENNER, AL SHIPLEY, CRAIG JENKINS, DAVE BRY, DAVID DRAKE, LARRY HESTER, MICHAEL A. GONZALES) October 4, 2018". Complex.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  6. ^ John Fletcher Of Whodini Music Group Has Passed Away Latestnewssouthafrica.com
  7. ^ "The Haunted House Of Rock by Whodini". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  8. ^ "Video Music Box (1983– )". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  9. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 420. CN 5585.
  10. ^ "Hip-Hop Gem: Jermaine Dupri Started Out As A Dancer For Whodini (by HAO NGUYEN) September 6, 2014". stopthebreaks.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  11. ^ "Whodini". The-breaks.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  12. ^ "Highlights From the 2018 Black Music Honors (by Cherie Saundersposted) September 9, 2018". ifclapboardscouldtalk.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  13. ^ Aswad, Jem (December 23, 2020). "John 'Ecstasy' Fletcher, of the Pioneering Rap Group Whodini, Dies at 56". Variety. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Billboard 200". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  15. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  16. ^ a b c "American album certifications – MC Lyte". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  17. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  18. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  19. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Hot Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  20. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: Hot Rap Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  21. ^ "Whodini — Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  22. ^ "Premiere: Meshell Ndegeocello Covers Whodini's "Friends"". Vibe. 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2019-02-09.


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