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Jurrasik Taktics / Blog

The Father of Hip Hop

Born in Kingston,Jamaica,West indies,moving to New York in 1967. Kool Herc owns the rights to the accolade "first Hip Hop D.J. Illustrating the connections between reggae and rap,Herc brought his sound system to block parties in the Bronx from 1969 onwards. By 1975 he was playing the brief rhythmic sections of records which would come to be termed "breaks",at venues like the Hevalo in the Bronx. His influence was pivotal,with Grandmaster Flash building on his innovations to customised the modern Hip Hop DJ approach.The Funky Four~s background is an interesting one,with Lil` Rodney Cee having been part of the street-jivers the Magnificent Seven between 1977 and 1978. The Funky Four were founded when KK Rockwell and D.J. Breakout,adding first Keith Keith and then female MC Sha Rock. Rahiem joined,then departed to take up an engagement with Grandmaster Flash. Keith Keith also left. With the addition of Lil` Rodney Cee,then Jazzy Jeff,the group became the Funky Four,with D.J. Breakout and Baron.None of the group were older than 17 when they signed with the Enjoy label,opening that imprint`s account(in rap terms)with"Rappin` And Rocking The House".This utilized the Cheryl Lynn break,"Got To Be Real",over which a 16-minute rap commentary was placed. The drums were programmed by Pumpkin,arguably rap`s first production hero,and it was an impressive overall introduction. Shortly afterwards they switched to Sugarhill,adding the Plus One More suffix.In addition to this cast D.J. Mark The 45 King would act as Breakout`s record boy,locating and passing records up to the decks as his D.J. requested them. They made their debut for Sugarhill with "Thats The Joint",a song arranged by jazz-funk organist Clifton Jiggs Chase. Herc's methods also pre-dated,and partially introduced,sampling. By adapting pieces of Funk,Soul,Jazz and other musics into the melting pot,he would be able to keep a party buzzing. With his sound system the Herculords,he would tailor his sets to the participants,most of whom he knew by name. He would call these out over improvised sets; "As I scan the place,I see the very familiar face..of my mellow:Wallace Dee in the house! Wallace Dee! Freak for me! As one of Hip Hop's founding Fathers,Kool Herc's reputation and influence has outlasted the vaguaries of musical fashion. A status no doubt boosted by the fact that he has not attempted to launch a spurious recording career on the back of it. Kool Herc was the subject of celebration at the Rapmania Festival in 1990. Here are some words from the Father of Hip Hop: The first place I played was 1520 Sedgewick Avenue-that's a recreation room-matter of fact in my apartment,yunno. Like the pied piper,the rats came out of the bricks to dance. My parties back then was twenty-five cent, Then it went to the recreation room,then we gave a block party,one time,anual block party. When you come down the block that cleaned up,you know Herc gonna play some music,and um,I couldn't come back to the old ranch no more,I had to go to a place called the Twilight Zone. (From there he moved to a spot called the Executive Playhouse,on 173 street in the Bronx,as well as playing numerous high schools,community centers,and parks.) Assuming his native Jamaican patois,he continues: My muddah roots come from St. Mary{a parish in Jamaica},yunno. A man named George inspirate I from Jamaica,yunno,and he lived pon Victoria Street,yunno and used to come with the big sound system. It was devastating,cause it was open air,when it rained that's the dance.... I did a lot of things from Jamaica,and I brought it here and turned it into my own little style...Herc came to prominence in the West Bronx between 1974 and 1975.