MUSIC | Ian Flomer, John Henry of MC/VL, and the hottest Scrabble-themed rap video of 2004


Nearly every Tuesday from 2004 to 2009, Hamil Griffin-Cassidy played Scrabble against the city of Minneapolis. Griffin-Cassidy, now best known as the producer of Freaky Deeky, was host of an MTN show called Totally Scrabble Tuesday, in which he’d position one rack of Scrabble tiles facing a camera and one facing himself; members of the public would call in and tell Griffin-Cassidy which letters to play from the public rack, then Griffin-Cassidy would play his own turn.

Griffin-Cassidy is a good Scrabble player, and members of the public started forming teams to strategize about winning plays. One viewer—Ian Flomer, then only in high school and now a successful local singer-songwriter—was inspired to record his own Scrabble rap over a beat cribbed from Atmosphere.

Flomer sent the recording to Griffin-Cassidy, who was so amused by the recording that after the episode of Totally Scrabble Tuesday broadcast on April 20, 2004, he took cameraman Martin Hallanger to the house of a Scrabble crew who called themselves “Team Fresh” and shot a music video for Flomer’s rap. Team Fresh included a man by the name of John Henry, who went on to local hip-hop fame as a member of MC/VL—a duo preparing to play their swan song next month at the Turf Club. (In the video, Henry is the team member wearing glasses.)

Pulled from the vaults of our media partner MTN, we now present to you this historic Scrabble rap video.