One of hip hop’s originators Dj Kool Herc is celebrating a birthday today his turning 60.You may know the song “Let me Clear my Throat” but many may not know why he is considered the Father and while Hip-Hop’s other pioneers such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash made hit singles, and later albums, Kool Herc never did. Raised with Jamaican roots and an Upbringing in the Bronx, NY,in the mid 1970’s Clive Campbell began as a dj and emcee for neighborhood parties but three things set him a part from other djs.
His Sound system, His song selections and Style technique.
He had the loudest sound system and used 2 turn tables like other club dj’s but no one had a louder party.
His song selection differed from the popular Disco deejays at the time by spinning Funk records.He noticed that most of the crowd loved when the music would go into the drum instrumental breaks ,
“Beat Breaks” so he used the two turntables to extend those Beat breaks, he then b for those who migthegan to seek out songs for only their Beat breaks. The magic happened when the love and vision he had for music, led him into blend these Beat Breaks with others over and over in a loop.
He called the technique “Merry go round”, in turn creating a whole new Beat.
Continuing to Emcee the party with catchy phrases and shout outs, set up the Fundamentals for Hip Hop!
The Dj created a New Genre of Music by built from various Beat Breaks of other songs.
Later DJs, such as Grandmaster Flash, influenced by Herc’s model improved the formula, by backspinning, scratching, and cutting the records while cueing them thru headphones, allowing to mix breaks more seamlessly into one another.
Rapping over these Beat Breaks became popular and Hip hop was born.
He also coined the terms “B-Boys” and “B-Girls” for the dancers who were “breaking”, which Herc says was a street slang for “acting energetically” or “causing a disturbance”. Its so fascinating to meo take this look back and see how the genre of hip hop has evolved, the turntables have now evolved into computers and virtual software, But No matter how advance the equipment may get, the Mix Blending of records fundamental that Dj Kool Herc created decades ago.. Is still being used today!
Thank you, Kool Herc.
Check out an interesting piece about Dj Kool Herc: