John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, Co-Founder of Whodini, Dies at 56

Ecstasy co-founded the group Whodini in Brooklyn in 1982.

On Wednesday, Questlove of The Roots broke some tragic news: John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, co-founder of the legendary group Whodini, has passed away at the age of 56.

“One love to Ecstasy of the legendary Whodini,” Quest wrote on Instagram. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip-hop. This is sad man.”


Formed in 1982 by Fletcher and Jalil Hutchins–and four years later, DJ Grandmaster Dee, Whodini released six studio albums in total. Four of these albums were certified Platinum by the RIAA. Their debut single, “Magic’s Wand,” became the first rap song with an accompanying music video. The song was a tribute to pioneering rap radio DJ Mr. Magic. After the success of “The Haunted House of Rock,” “Friends,” and “Freaks Come Out at Night,” the group became one of the most prominent names in hip-hop.

Musicians inspired by Whodini shared their condolences online.

“My God, this one hurts me so bad,” wrote Jermaine Dupri, who began his career at 12 years old, touring with the group as a dancer. Along with his condolences, Dupri posted an old video of himself backstage with the group. “I can’t even believe I’m typing this. Ex, you know I love you. Thank you for every word, every conversation, every good time. May your soul rest in power.”

“Thank you for the music of my youth,” wrote Loni Love. “I always loved the Zorro hat! Condolences to the family.”



Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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Torry Threadcraft

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