Happy birthday, Hip Hop!
August 11, 2013 4:33 PM   Subscribe

40 years ago today, on August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc, father of hip hop, innovator and inventor of the "merry go round" technique of dj-ing, threw a back to school party in order to raise some money for school clothes and supplies and changed the course of music history.

Other links about DJ Kool Herc and the history of hip hop:

DJ Kool Herc speaking in 2012
Hip hop legend KRS One agrees that DJ Kool Herc is pretty dope
DJ Kool Herc Old School
DJ Kool Herc wrote the introduction to Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation
Mefi previously on hip hop history
posted by elmer benson (15 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
$.25 ladies, $.50 fellas! More here.
posted by box at 4:38 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Amen.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:49 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


this post is fabulous.
posted by sweetkid at 5:07 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


The hip-hop legacy will always last
To know your future is to know your past
Thanks Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash
Afrika Bam, whose jams were a blast
Cold Crush Four, nobody could pass
Grand Wizard Theodore, whose hands were fast
Fantastic 5, who left with the cash
Busy Bee, who crushed up the hash
The Treacherous Three, no one surpassed


Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop
posted by Ad hominem at 5:14 PM on August 11, 2013


Kool Herc and Coke La Rock 40th reunion. From a few weeks ago.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:36 PM on August 11, 2013


Consider the first emcee to blow the spot
and do work was Coke La Rock spittin' for Kool Herc
Followin' the influence and Herculord Parties
Brothas like Cowboy made you move your body
Cowboy would toast for the G and Flash
And his skills elevated as crews started to clash
Flash and Bam, they both saw clientele
So Flash formed the Four with the father Melle Mel
Four became Five, more became live
Routines on the breaks, true kings motivate
After L Brothers came the Five Fantastic
With Theodore they battled the Cold Crush Four
Few had the confidence of GMC [Grand Master Caz]
Without the CCB's [Cold Crush Brothers] there'd be no Run-DMC
The Funky and the Fearless Four, Force Emcees, the suave Spoonie G
And I can't forget the Treacherous Three MC's


Edan's hip-hop history "Fumbling Over Words that Rhyme."
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:37 PM on August 11, 2013


The hiphopandpolitics link is great; if you scroll down to the earlier interviews there's one where Herc "talks about his Jamaican background...and he explains how and why Jamaican culture is an important root within Hip Hop" and another with Herc's sister Cindy, the person who needed new school clothes.

And box's NYMag link mentions the fight about the future of the building:

The war for the future of 1520 continues, in court. When the tenant activists originally realized the building’s significance, they applied to have it landmarked, on the thought that it might keep 1520 from being moved out of the affordable-housing program. But the landmarking has been stymied so far, and wouldn’t have kept the building from being taken out of Mitchell-Lama anyway. But thanks in part to the media attention, activists did manage to get the city’s Housing Preservation Department to rule that it’s unacceptable to sell a Mitchell-Lama building for more than what its Mitchell Lama rents could support. Then the tenants tried to buy the building themselves, but they were outbid. While a restraining order keeps the sale in stasis, the activists are hoping that the economic downturn will cause the buyer to back down.

Oh and I love this part:

It didn’t matter if that “break” was lifted from James Brown or Led Zeppelin; the dancers responded.
posted by mediareport at 5:47 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


What a weird coincidence, I was just reading about this yesterday. The FPP video mentions the first Merry-Go-Round containing the breaks from James Brown's Give It Up or Turnit A Loose, the Incredible Bongo Band's Bongo Rock, and Babe Ruth's The Mexican. Has anyone put together a track simulating that blend? The video has it going in the background, but I want one without the narrator voiceover.
posted by Paragon at 5:53 PM on August 11, 2013


As good a time as any to link to the only reason I read BoingBoing anymore... Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:18 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


BBC coverage
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Watching Herc talk just puts me in a better mood, somehow. The joy of early hip hop generation is contagious. Thanks for the links!
posted by lownote at 6:51 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


What track is that at 2:49 in the video? He says "Baby huey the mexican" but i can't find it anywhere. It sounds completely freaking awesome.
posted by emptythought at 11:57 PM on August 11, 2013


Ah, it's Babe Ruth The Mexican. Relevant part starts here.

What a great track.
posted by emptythought at 12:00 AM on August 12, 2013


Planet Rock has that bit from The Mexican towards the end. I think it also has Bongo Band but it's probabl probably not Bongo Rock it's probably Apache.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:19 AM on August 12, 2013


An interesting anecdote I've heard about, is that the 1977 NYC Blackout really kicked off the hip hop scene. Hi fi stores were looted, and into the hands of kids who could never afford decks and mixers. An interesting story, although not sure how true it is.
posted by derbs at 5:11 AM on August 12, 2013


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