Black Entertainment : D.J. KOOL HERC, THE GODFATHER OF HIPHOP...

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Isaiah, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    AN EXCERPT FROM AN ARTICLE WHICH MAY OR NOT BE, TOTALLY ACCURATE...(SMILE!)



    "KOOL HERC (THE STORY)" ​



    Unsurprisingly, many have laid claims to roles as kings or kingmakers of the hip hop tradition. Most students, however, find one name cropping up time and again. To all intents and purposes, hip hop started the day Jamaican-born Clive Campbell, aka Kool Herc, first set foot in New York in 1967. 'At the age of thirteen I migrated to the States, early '67, to the Bronx. It was winter, it was cold.'

    By 1969, Herc was partying regularly at local clubs, but noticed that the crowds he joined frequently object to the city's distant, cocksure DJs. 'I used to hear the gripes from the audience on the dancefloor. Even myself, 'cause I used to be a breaker (breakdancer). Why didn't the guy let the record play out? Or why cut it off there? So with that, me gathering all this information around me, I say: "I think I could do that". So I started playing from a dancefloor perspective. I always kept up the attitude that I'm not playing it for myself, I'm playing for the people out there.'

    DJs needed to establish an identity or niche in this highly competitive market. Herc was determined to find records that no one else owned, to distinguish himself from the pack. As an example, he pressed his father into buying James Brown's Sex Machine LP in 1969. 'A lot of people wanted that record and couldn't really find it. So a lot of people used to come to the party to hear that.' Herc did his research, checking out what was being played on local jukeboxes to test a song's popularity and picking up rarities at Downstairs Records on 42nd Street and the Rhythm Den. 'This is where your recognition, your rep comes from. You have a record nobody else got, or you're the first one to have it. You've got to be the first, can't be the second.'

    While violence has become rap's defining characteristic in the 90s, hip hop actually started out as a means of ending black-on-black fighting two decades earlier. the Bronx citizen of the early 70s had much to live in fear of. 'The gangs came and terrorised the whole neighbourhood, the boroughs. Everybody just ran back into their house. There was no more clubs. If you did do a house party, it had to be: "I have to know you. Don't bring nobody who I don't know to my house."

    It lasted for a while until the parents started to come in early, and find a house full of kids, tearing up the new furniture that she just put some money down on. The kids were still seeking for a place to release this energy.' Herc's sister asked him to help out by playing music in the recreation room of his family's housing block, 1520 Sedgewick Towers. 'OK, I throw my hand at it, and she rented the recreation room, I think for twenty-five dollars at the time. We could charge it at twenty-five cents for girls, fifty cents for fellas. It was like, "Kool Herc, man. He's giving a party, westside man. Just be cool, that's what I'm saying, come and have a good time. Just don't ditch the programme."

    Dodge High School, before it became co-educational, was an all girls establishment. Not least for that reason, it became, by reputation, the top venue for aspiring DJs, as Melle Mel recalls. ' If you got to do Dodge High School, you was the ******' man. And Herc used to do it every year...' Searching for further innovations for his sets, Herc patented the breakbeat, the climatic instrumental section of a record, partly trough his existing knowledge of the dub plates or 'versions' prevalent in Jamaican reggae. ' I was using some of the breakdown parts.

    Every Jamaican record has a dub side to it. So I just tried to apply that. As the years went along I'm watchin people, waiting for this particular break in it, the rhythm section. One night, I was waiting for the record to play out. Maybe there are dancers waiting for this particular break. I could have a couple more records got the same break in it - I wonder, how it be if I put them all together and I told them: "I'm going to try something new tonight. I'm going to call it a merry-go-round." The B-Boys, as I call it, the energetic person, they're waiting just to release this energy when this break comes in.' Herc saw a ready-made audience for his 'breakdowns'.

    The merry-go-round involved him mixing sections of James Brown's 'Give It Up Or Turn It Loose' into Michael Viner's 'Bongo Rock' and back out into Babe Ruth's 'The Mexican'. His audiences loved it. The merry-go-round became the blueprint for hip hop... The first to react to the , naturally enough, were Herc's party-goers. Breakdancers, or B-Boys, began to interpret Herc's idiosyncratic style with routines of their own. Some historians trace the development of Breakdancing to the African martial arts form, capoeta, brought to America by slaves a century before.

    No one is entirely sure of the identity of the first New York breakdancer, but it was certainly popularised by members of the Zulu Nation. The discipline of Breakdancing / B-Boying was one of four seperate styles that eventually converged through the late 70s. Up-rocking was a kind of non-contact mock martial art first seen in Brooklyn. Plus there were two imported West Coast styles - Pop-locking (a mixture of strutting, robotics and moonwalking) and Body-popping (developed on the West Coast by Boogaloo Sam).


    http://www.jahsonic.com/KoolHerc.html
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
    Long before "Pop-locking" and "body-popping" on the West Coast we was just straight "LOCKING" in the early and mid-70s.

    This style was popularized on TV by "Re-Run" in the TV series "What's Happenin". (i.e. Fred Berry).

    Along with Boogaloo Sam there was Shabba-Doo and others such as the Westchester Bay Lockers. These were the early West Coast "Breakers". We used to "skank" and "freestyle" to Jamaican "toasters" such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Big Youth, U-Roy, I-Roy and the "dub poet" MutaBaruka long before we ever even heard of DJ Kool Herc. long before sugar hill gang's "rapper's delight" in 1979..

    we acknowledge the innovations of DJ Kool Herc as "hip hop" pioneer from the South Bronx...but we had our own dance thang goin on in Cali, long before...with no knowledge of Herc or Bam..until there was collaboration through the ROCK STEADY CREW...
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    Greetings, Brother Omowale!

    Yes, you are absolutely correct in your history, as many of us around the country learned about the West Coast dance styles from SOUL TRAIN, which was filmed out in Los Angeles... So there is no disputing that documented history... What we all have to realize as African people is that ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES and THE WORLD, African people are dancing and developing their own styles, and copping styles from one another... Dancing is an integral part of our culture, and so is RAPPING...(smile!) So, no doubt, there is great cross-pollinization in our cultural styles...

    I think, brother, that the label HIPHOP is a New York label, and that is what annoys a lot of folks, but there is no need for any of us to get into rivalry about that... As you know, the BLUES has it's birth in the Mississippi Delta, and people dispute that - even I did at one time... But one thing the great historian, Chiekh Anta Diop said that stays ever with me, and that is that nature does not create two of the same things at the very same time in two different places in the world... HIPHOP was created in NYC, as that is what Black and Latino brothers here labeled it... That does not mean Dancing, Rapping, Graffitti Art, and Fashion was created here, but that a particular style of all of the above started here, and was given the name HIPHOP Culture...

    If others elsewhere had the same thing going on, and failed to give it a label, or were beaten to the punch on that tip, that is how the cookie crumbles, and move on... Aint no biggie, as othe regions from around the country took the baton, and ran with it, and made their own mark with it... My point was to remember theses brothers, Grand Master Flash and Kool DJ Herc as fathers of the culture, not to disparage the inventions and conventions of others...



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    One thing I will say is that all the talk of how RAP originated with Jamaican D.J.'s is highly questionable... RAP is, first of all, an African American Slang word for talking with style and panache, and is a lot older than Jamaican Sound System D.J.ing - a lot older! That's where a lot of the problems about the history come in, with people saying this and that originated here or there, and not understanding history in it's entirety...


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585

    Brother Isaiah,

    I hear you. However, I believe discussion on the origins of "hip hop" CULTURE tends to overlook or dismiss two points, one of which I asked about.

    First, on the West Coast, we were familiar with what the Jamaican "rappers" referred to as "TOASTING" and it is quite possible that the younger Herc AND GM Flash, both of which were born in the islands, would have been familiar with I-Roy, U-Roy, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone, and Dillinger along with Lee "Scratch" Perry.

    Secondly, from what I have Read and Heard the person credited with coining the term "hip hop" was DJ Hollywood, who was a master of "sound mixing" and I belive that Hollywood was a year older than Herc.

    A little know fact often not mentioned...prior to the release of "Rapper's Delight" I do believe there was a single associated with DJ Hollywood and the FATBACK BAND..

    Peace!
    DJ.O.
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62

    Brother O, I hear you most loud and clear, and the questions you are raising are excellent, if I may say so, myself...(smile!) My dispute is not with you, but with those who are accepting the history without doing their own research...

    This is something the HIPHOP historians are going to have to reckon with in the years to come: that the existing history is rife with mad inaccuracies because some folks are being allowed to protect THEIR self-styled version of the history, and that includes the brothers I've given props to in my posts...

    To say, as I've already mentioned, that RAP begins with Kool Herc or Clement Coxsone is mad absurd, and I will stand on that against anybody, because I know AFrican American D.J.'s popularized this whole rhythmic-rhyming style in the 1940's with Al Benson... The history is not only documented, but it's on TAPE!(smile!) Those airchecks are out here to prove that, and so are some of those old DJ's... What is very divisive is, we are constantly hearing from African Caribbeans that they started Jazz, and history tells us, this has tremendous merit... But African Americans took Jazz to a New Level outside of New Orleans, which sets up more rivalry, if folks wanna go there... I can name at least 4 Carolina guys who are among the great giants of Jazz, and no one could possibly dispute their pre-emminence - Dizzy Gillespie*Thelonious Monk*Max Roach*John Coltrane... They may none of them have come to full flower down south, but they sure as hell had the rudimentary teachings there, and you can't be propelled into greatness without having the foundation provided by fundamental training...

    So, O, lets' continue this discussion, because it is needed... Like I said in the GMF thread, DJ Hollywood was a Manhattan(read that HARLEM)DJ, and the Bronx cats hollered loudest about their place in the Hiphop pantheon, so everyone else in the area gave them their props since they seemed to holla loudest... As a Brooklyn cat, I was appalled to hear folks saying this badboy started in the Bronx, because we had our own thang here... I was probably not the only person who felt aggrieved by these claims either... But, again, as Dr. Diop said, what is the likelihood of this thing starting in two places at the same time???(smile!) Next to Nil...



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
    Brother isaiah,

    I am not disputing any of your points. Merely raising a few questions and concerns. Good to see some information of historical value amongst the tide of nonsense presently blogging these forums..

    Peace,
    DJ.O.
     
Loading...