Nathaniel Glover, better known as the rapper Kidd Creole, a founding member of the pioneering hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, was arrested after fatally stabbing a homeless man in midtown Manhattan, a New York Police Department spokesman confirmed to the Village Voice.
Glover, 57, was charged with second-degree murder on Wednesday. The former rapper, who lives in the Bronx, was arrested after stabbing 55-year-old John Jolly several times in the torso just before midnight on Tuesday near the intersection of 44th Street and Third Avenue, in the 17th Precinct. The police found Jolly and took him to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Surveillance footage led NYPD detectives to Glover.
The New York Daily News reports that Glover acted after he believed Jolly, who lived in a homeless shelter on the Bowery, was hitting on him. According to New York Department of Corrections records, Jolly served five years in prison for beating and raping a woman in 1997, and was also imprisoned for nearly three years for criminal possession of a weapon in 2008. The Daily News quotes an unnamed police source who stated that Jolly was drunk and that he and Glover “had no prior relationship.”
If convicted of the charges, Glover could receive a life sentence.
The Furious Five were among the first wave of rap groups to form in the South Bronx during the genre’s ascendency in the 1970s, a period immortalized in the recent Netflix series The Get Down. (Grandmaster Flash, another Furious Five member, was featured as a lightly fictionalized character on the show, and worked with the production team behind the scenes.) The group is best known for its 1982 song “The Message,” from its same-named debut album, widely considered the first rap hit to tackle social issues affecting the community in which the genre was formed. The group broke up shortly after, briefly reuniting in 1987 to record a second album. In 2007, the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
While the 59-year-old Grandmaster Flash, born Joseph Saddler, still performs DJ sets in the United States and abroad, Glover’s music career has been largely dormant in recent years, aside from a 2013 Furious Five gig at B.B. Kings. The Daily News reports that Glover had been working as a handyman and security guard near the scene of the crime, and was apparently headed to work before the altercation with Jolly took place.