Big Day Today!
Folks, that subheading is an understatement if I’ve ever seen/typed one. Today is a huge day, and not just because of the events previously talked about on Today in History. Today is enormous, and marks what many consider to be birth of an entire culture.
Like any style of music, Hip Hop takes influence from a lot of different genres and places, but many people point to an event on this day that Hip Hop was truly brought to the people. Today marks the 44th birthday of Hip Hop, this is one of the best example of age being “but a number” that I can recall. At 44 years young, Hip hop has seen nine United States Presidents, like 18 wars depending on definition, and the birth of the Internet. Some great life experiences right there, and yet people still dismiss this entire genre.
Pencils and Notebooks at the Ready Please.
The man pictured above is Clive Campbell, otherwise known as DJ Kool Herc. Recognized as one of the pioneers and driving forces of Hip Hop from it’s earliest stages, Campbell was actually influenced by reggae music, being born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica until the age of 10.
Kool Herc was throwing a party for his sister at 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx where they lived. It was at this party where he brought his break beat method to the biggest crowd he had played yet. Break beat is when a DJ samples the percussion breaks in a song. DJ Kool Herc took a turntable set up and instead of using it to transition between two different records, he would switch back and forth, often times using the same record to extend drum breaks.
It was at these types of parties that Hip Hop would really take on its own distinct form and culture. People would start writing lyrics to these break beats and breakdancing, and just getting down. These types of events helped to spread the phenomenon that was and is Hip Hop.
Since that fateful day we have seen many innovations in technology that led to new sounds, a healthy collection of talent and promise, and a culture that is full of life. From Tribe and The Roots, to Kendrick and Earl, Hip Hop has always been a dominant force for all of its 44 years. For all that and so much more, we tip our caps to its founder.
For all your contributions, ideas, and innovations, we thank you DJ Kool Herc. On this day in particular, thank you for being such a great brother.