Exactly 44 years ago today, it all started in the boogie down Bronx where DJ Kool Herc was known for getting the party started. He introduced "break beats" at the legendary 1973 “Back to School Jam;" instrumental sections fused back and forth between two turntables. His friend Coke La Rock took the mic and kept the crowd hype with his rhymes. What may have appeared as a moment in time transformed into a lasting movement that birthed the vibrant underground culture of Hip-Hop.
Along with Kool Herc, there were many other notable disc jockeys who influenced the culture, like Pete DJ Jones and Grandmaster flash who pioneered mixing techniques like cueing and phasing. Grand Wizzard Theodore invented the technique of scratching as a child by stopping the record from playing with his hand. Afrika Bambaataa, helped spread the culture throughout other boroughs in NYC.
Coupled with disc jockeys came the Disco Fever club in the South Bronx which debut many of our first MCs like Kurtis Blow. RUN DMC, who also performed at this club would be the first to have a Hip-Hop video air on MTV with their music video “Rockbox," introducing the genre to a new audience. This led to the rap-rock hybrid, “Walk This Way" that many of us may know. "Rapper’s Delight" by Sugarhill Gang was a major hit that introduced Hip-Hop music to audiences in the United Stated and all over the world.
Originating with break dancing, graffiti, MC’s rhyming over rhythms, cross fading and crate digging, the Hip-Hop culture has transcended into more than a sound but a feeling, creativity, wit, dancing, art, community, fashion, politics and essentially a lifestyle. Today we celebrate the historic anniversary of the culture that we know and love.
From the A3C Team, Happy Birthday Hip-Hop! Keep the party going!