Whodinis John “Ecstasy” Fletcher is 56 years previous
Whodini founding member John “Ecstasy” Fletcher died at the age of 56, the group’s grandmaster Dee told Variety. Questlove announced the news earlier in the day. No cause of death was disclosed. Alongside bandmate Jalil Hutchins and DJ / turntablist Grandmaster Dee, Ecstasy was part of the first hip-hop wave that emerged from New York City in the early 1980s.
Whodini’s self-titled debut album, originally signed with Jive Records, was released in 1982. It contained “Magic’s Wand” produced by Thomas Dolby and given to hip-hop DJ John “Mr. Magic ”Rivas and was the first hip hop track to ever receive a music video. Her breakout album in 1984 was Escape, which is now widely considered a classic in rap and dance music circles of the ’80s. This album produced several popular songs including “Five Minutes of Funk” and “The Freaks Come Out at Night”.
Ecstasy’s fashion signature was a Zorro-style hat that was often featured in Whodini photo shoots, videos, and live performances. He and the other members of Whodini were part of the first major hip-hop tour, Fresh Fest, which appeared in 1984 with acts like Run-DMC and Kurtis Blow. In the course of their career, the group achieved a total of four platinum singles. Her last album, Six, was released in 1996.
Numerous artists, including Q-Tip, Chuck D, DJ Premier, and Sheila E., have paid tribute to ecstasy. LL Cool J remembered his friend and wrote: “One of the most important people in this culture for me.”