"Buffalo Gals" Creator Malcolm McLaren Dead At 64

Breaking: Punk Rock icon passed away in NYC today, leaves legacy heard in music by Mariah Carey, Eminem, De La Soul and Kam.

Known by Hip Hop fans for his 1983 "Buffalo Gals," British vocalist Malcolm McLaren died today (April 8). He was 64 years old, and believed to have been recently diagnosed with Cancer. According to the BBC's report, family members are "devastated." The '70s and '80s icon died in New York, but will reportedly be returned to his native England for funeral services.

McLaren was instrumental to bringing Hip Hop music and culture to the United Kingdom. The former manager of both The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls, McLaren was a notable bridge (along with Afrika Bambaataa) to the shared Downtown New York scene between Hop Hop and Punk in the early '80s.

The album which "Buffalo Gals" appears on, 1983's Duck Rock, featured McLaren's most notably Hip Hop experimentation, as well as keyboard playing from '80s star Thomas Dolby. Fifteen years later, McLaren joined Virgin Records in releasing a project dedicated to his "Buffalo Gals" song. The maxi-single/compilation featured KRS-One and others.

Between "Double Dutch" and "Buffalo Gals," McLaren has been sampled on hits by Mariah Carey ("Honey [Bad Boy Remix]"), Kam ("Whoop, Whoop") and Eminem ("Without Me"). The original song, which features scratching and emcee-like ad-libs, is remembered as one of the only Hip Hop songs that incorporated Square Dance elements.

McLaren is survived by a son, Joseph Corre.

Read the BBC's comprehensive coverage of Malcolm McLaren's contributions to music, and family reactions.

12 Comments

  • Ex-Writer 4 HHDX

    I TOTALLY agree re Buffalo Gals and his contribution to hip-hop and ACTUALLY making it luring to a lot of Europe in the art world and GLOBALLY, which (fortunately or unfortunately) made the whites in America sort of take a “2nd” look. And let’s not forget to mention his contribution and affiliation for “World Famous” by The World Famous Supreme Team – my goodness, undoubtedly one of my favorite tunes EVER! This was one of the ultimates in the foundation of my hip-hop life! RIP Malcolm McLaren – you’re still living as far as I’m concerned, spiritually through this thing called music…

  • hiphopscout

    http://www.reverbnation.com/sav

  • deesure

    R I P THAT SONG IS A HUGE THROW BACK ...

  • big braveheart

    R.I.P. Malcolm. A musical legend and somebody who had a lot of respect for hip-hop in it's early days and helped pushed it to chart success. Buffalo Gals was a party rocker and Malcolm was a real innovator who deserved massive props! Sorry to hear.

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  • insanemacbeth

    yeah, M.M. had access to AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, and DJ. WHIZ KID...so he's a don, in my eyes. just found out, when JUST BLAZE tweeted.

  • Powernupe

    RIP - I remember hearing Buffalo Gals when it first came out. The song always brings back memories of park jams, basement parties, JVC boxes, British Walkers, mock necks, Lee suits, etc.

  • atamediumpace

    RIP. I wonder what Steve Jones has to say?

  • uzipolo-king of decatur

    malcolm was real hip hop and made fools of the new york rappers by putting real hip hop element into songs it was innovative and the buffalo girls video was one of the best breakdance vidoes of all time even though he seen something and capilized off of it he made it better Duck Rock LP was da bomb The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip-hop to a wider audience in the UK. Two of the singles from the album ("Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch") became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlanticbut RIP to him for taking a chance of creating great hip hop without making it into a joke like the other white rappers did but also cant forget trevor horn eithier who wrote buffalo girls and double dutch then went on to do ART OF NOISE which was also real music inside and out and he also did the yes albulm with the song owner of a lonely heart the significance of THIs SONG include the catchy, heavily distorted introductory guitar riff, which establishes a motif for the song; producer Trevor Horn's innovative use of jarring, heavily syncopated orchestra hits and other high-tech sound effects; Rabin's disorienting, schizophrenic guitar solo, which was played through an MXR Pitch Transposer, which mixed the original note with one a perfect fifth higher. so peace to him to in creating this real hip hop movement other notables are Kraftwerk which EVERYBODY AND THEY MAMA BIT(ask Africa BAMBADA)who started hip hop in the late 70's while in Cali the dancing was forming about 6-5 years before the bronx says uzipolo-king of decatur

  • khordkutta

    RIP You young bucks in HipHop need to recognize. buffalo gals was one of my favorite joints to break to.

  • mufucka

    Rest In Peace One of my favorite songs... Malcolm McLaren - About Her (off Kill Bill Vol. 2 soundtrack)

  • Malmoe88

    Damn. That is a lost.

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