finds its immediate roots in the toasting and dub talk over elements
of reggae music.
Kool DJ Herc, the godfather of hip-hop, was born in Jamaica in 1955.
He moved to the Bronx in 1967, at the age of twelve. With his unique
playlist of R&B, soul, funk, and obscure disco, Herc quickly became
the catalyst of the hip-hop way of life. The kids from the Bronx and
Harlem loved his ghetto style, which gave birth to the concept of the
B-Boy. The B-Boy -- or beat boy, break boy, Bronx boy -- loved the breaks
of Kool Herc, and as a result soon created break dancing. These were
the people of the hip-hop culture. When he performed to Breaks at crowded
venues, such as the Hervalo in the Bronx, he would shout loudly 'B-Boys
go down!' and this was the cue for dancers to cut and jump their gymnastics.
He was the originator of break-beat deejaying, wherein the breaks of
funk songsbeing the most danceable part, often featuring percussionwere
isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties. Later
DJs such as Grandmaster Flash refined and developed the use of breakbeats,
He is also well known for his massive high quality high volume sound
system, against which even superior DJs could not compete. Herc
from Hercules first used reggae records and was toasting to the
music like Jamaican artists U-Roy and I-Roy. But he started using funk
records due to popular demand.
In those early days, young party goers initially recited popular phrases
and used the slang of the day. For example, it was fashionable for dj
to acknowledge people who were in attendance at a party. These early
raps featured someone such as Herc shouting over the instrumental break;
'Yo this is Kool Herc in the joint-ski saying my mellow-ski Marky D
is in the house'. This would usually evoke a response from the crowd,
who began to call out their own names and slogans.
As this phenomenon evolved, the party shouts became more elaborate as
dj-in an effort to be different, began to incorporate little rhymes-'Jay
D is in the house/An he'll turn it out without a doubt.' It wasn't long
before people began drawing upon outdated dozens and school yard rhymes.
Many would add a little twist and customize these rhymes to make them
suitable for the party environment. At that time rap was not yet known
as 'rap' but called 'emceeing'. With regards to Kool Herc, as he progressed,
he eventually turned his attention to the complexities of dj-ing and
let two friends Coke La Rock and Clark Kent (not Dana Dane's dj) handle
the microphone duties. This was rap music first emcee team. They became
known as Kool Herc and the Herculoids.
DJ Kool Herc started a movement which recycled the creaitivity of black
American jive jocks back into the USA. The relationship between hip
hop and reggae became more important again with reggae artists and rappers
collaborating with each other, from Yellowman and Afrika Bambaataa to
KRS One and Shabba Ranks. Hip hop and reggae still influence each other
in both directions.
Toop, David (1991). Rap Attack 2: African Rap To Global Hip Hop. New
York. New York: Serpent's Tail.
Jeff (2005). Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation.
St. Martin's Press.
NOW LOOK AT WHERE IT IS TODAY!!