Known best for his 1982 hit R&B track "Change the Beat," this rapper and songwriter also became famous as a member of a Brooklyn graffiti artists' group called The Fabulous 5.
Early in his career, he worked as a film cameraman and also appeared on a Glenn O'Brien-hosted television program called TV Party.
He directed hip hop artist Nas's 1994 "One Love" music video.
Born Fred Brathwaite, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York as the son of jazz music enthusiast parents.
He is mentioned in a lyric in the Deborah Harry and Blondie song "Rapture."