Friday, August 11, 2017

Culture: Google Honours Hip-hop "Father" Kool Herc

Today marks 44 years since Jamaican Disc Jock Clive Campbell, known as DJ Kool Herc founded the genre “HIP HOP”. The Jamaica-born DJ, moved to the Bronx at the age of 12 in 1967 and picked up the nickname ‘Hercules’, (shortened to ‘Herc’), apparently because of his prowess on neighbourhood basketball courts.

On a hot August night in 1973, the then 18-year-old immigrant DJ Kool Herc, and his sister Cindy put on a ‘back to school jam’ in the recreation room of their apartment block at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the west Bronx.
During his set, he decided to do something different. Instead of playing the songs in full, he played only their instrumental sections, or “breaks” – sections where he noticed the crowd went wild. During these “breaks,” his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd with a microphone. And with that, Hip Hop was born.
The genre has come a long way since then. Hip-hop became a cultural movement that attained widespread popularity in the 1980s and ’90s; spawning subcultures including rapping/MCing, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti art. Other elements include beatboxing, hip hop fashion, and slang.
Without DJ Kool Herc, we wouldn’t be talking about hip hop” journalist and academic, Jeff Chang told BBC Culture during an interview in 2014. Chang’s award-winning book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation details the foundations of hip hop.
The nickname “Hercules” came from his height and all the time he spent in the weight room in high school. Herc names soul, rock, funk, reggae, and dancehall as his musical influences. He is known for loud systems and isolating the “break” during his pioneering influence on the nascent 1970s hip-hop scene.

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