“White Lines” was a worldwide smash for Grandmaster Flash and his crew — and white lines brought them crashing down.
The iconic 1983 anti-drug anthem — along with seminal hip-hop hit “The Message” — made the group a household name. But by the time “White Lines” hit the airwaves, cocaine had already torn the group apart, a split that would send many of the members spiraling into addiction, obscurity, even the grave.
Founding member MC Kidd Creole’s hit rock bottom on Wednesday when he was arrested for the murder of a homeless man.
Cops cuffed Creole after finding him in an 8-by-10-foot hovel at a Bronx rooming house, where he lived when he wasn’t working as a security and maintenance man — a world away from the lifestyle he once enjoyed, touring the world and headlining sold-out theaters.
“Kidd Creole is one of the ones who started hip-hop . . . He’s good people, but things happened to him,” said neighbor and longtime friend Guy Stevens, 48, a former actor who appeared in the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors” but now lives directly below Creole in the run-down Mount Hope house, where on Thursday the 4 train rumbled deafeningly overhead while a man smoked drugs on the stoop.
“We learned the politics of movies and music together. And that’s how we both ended up here.”
The building is just a few miles from where Creole — born Nathaniel Glover — and his little brother Melvin, a k a Melle Mel, created a new way of reciting rhymes on the streets of Morrisania, first learning poetry from sister Glander, then coming up with their own lyrics, and finally trading refrains back and forth.
When they met Grandmaster Flash — a local kid born Joseph Saddler — showing of his break-beat DJing styles in a local park in 1975, they knocked the turntablist’s socks off.
“Creole swam like a fish. He had a smooth glide to match. Even his hair — braided in tight, thin rows — looked like scales on top of his head,” Flash wrote in his 2008 biography, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats.”
“Rhyming on the mic was what truly brought this kid’s soul to life . . . . if you gave him a word, Creole would flow with it for five minutes, going off like a marathon runner. In a word, Creole was fluid.”
Along with rappers Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins,…