KOOL HERC

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My story: Kool Herc own the rights to the accolade "first Hip Hop D.J. Illustrating the connections between reggae and rap,Herc brought his sound system to block parties in the Bronx from 1969 onwards. By 1975 he was playing the brief rhythmic sections of records which would come to be termed "breaks",at venues like the Hevalo in the Bronx. His influence was pivotal,with Grandmaster Flash building on his innovations to customised the modern Hip Hop DJ approach.

 

Herc's methods also pre-dated,and partially introduced,sampling. By adapting pieces of Funk,Soul,Jazz and other musics into the melting pot,he would be able to keep a party buzzing. With his sound system the Herculords,he would tailor his sets to the participants,most of whom he knew by name.

 He would call these out over improvised sets; "As I scan the place,I see the very familiar face..of my mellow:Wallace Dee in the house! Wallace Dee! Freak for me! As one of Hip Hop's founding Fathers,Kool Herc's reputation and influence has outlasted the vaguaries of musical fashion. A status no doubt boosted by the fact that he has not attempted to launch a spurious recording career on the back of it. Kool Herc was the subject of celebration at the Rapmania Festival in 1990.

Here are some words from the Father of Hip Hop: The first place I played was 1520 Sedgewick Avenue-that's a recreation room-matter of fact in my apartment,yunno. Like the pied piper,the rats came out of the bricks to dance. My parties back then was twenty-five cent, Then it went to the recreation room,then we gave a block party,one time,anual block party. When you come down the block that cleaned up,you know Herc gonna play some music,and um,I couldn't come back to the old ranch no more,I had to go to a place called the Twilight Zone. And then I used to give flyers out over by the Hevalo,and my mans would tell me to step off. I said, "One day I"m be in here."

So I gavemy first party at the Twilight Zone,it was raining,the gods was raining down on me. Everybody came down from the Hevalo,wondering what was happening. They said,"Hercis playing down the block." "Who's Herc?' "That's the guy you chased away with the flyers from outside." And from the Twilight Zone I went on up to the Hevalo... (From there he moved to a spot called the Executive Playhouse,on 173 street in the Bronx,as well as playing numerous high schools,community centers,and parks.) Assuming his native Jamaican patois,he continues: My muddah roots come from St. Mary{a parish in Jamaica},yunno. A man named George inspirate I from Jamaica,yunno,and he lived pon Victoria Street,yunno and used to come with the big sound system. It was devastating,cause it was open air,when it rained that's the dance.... I did a lot of things from Jamaica,and I brought it here and turned it into my own little style...Herc came to prominence in the West Bronx between 1974 and 1975.

 

 

 

 

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