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Friday, April 4, 2014

100 Greatest Old School Hip Hop Records From 1979 to 1985

100 Greatest Old School Hip Hop Records From 1979 to 1985

 Rap music has always existed as an element of Hip Hop since the culture's birth in the early 1970s. The first rappers (called MCs) would rap over funk, reggae, dub, soul, and disco beats and would hold spontaneous rhyming battles that were meant to verbally attack an opponent called "freestyles" (freestyling and flowing were words used to describe the impromptu vocal delivery). Artists that laid the template for such aggressive spoken word set to a funky beat include James Brown, Gil Scott-Heron, The Watts Prophets, and The Last Poets. 

By the spring of 1979, the first rap record surfaced with funk band The Fatback Band's "King Tim IIII (Personality Jock)". Later, The Sugar Hill Gang debuted in the summer with Hip Hop's most famous commercial record yet,"Rapper's Delight". This list targets critical Hip Hop records during the old school era (1979-roughly 1985) before the revolution of "cut-n-paste" music and Run DMC's seminal Hip Hop anthem "Walk This Way" in 1986. 

Hip Hop is first and foremost a culture with five important elements: the b-boys (break dancers), Graffiti/Aerosol artists, MCs, DJs, and the beatboxers. Knowledge and understanding and respect for Hip Hop and its roots are vital.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow & Melle Mel To Be Honored By New York City Council

Hip Hop culture pioneers Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow and Melle Mel are set to be honored, according to Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera.
Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow and Melle Mel are among those set to be honored by New York city council today (March 12), according to Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera. 

The Hip Hop culture pioneers are among those who will receive official proclamations, Cabrera said according to a Daily News story.

The ceremonial presentation is scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm EST today in New York City Hall Council Chambers at 260 Broadway (near Warren St.) New York, NY 10007.

In 2012, Afrika Bambaataa was appointed visiting scholar at Cornell University. According to, Cornell University Library's Hip Hop Collection appointed Bambaataa as a visiting scholar for a three-year term. In the role, he will visit the Ithaca, New York campus several days each year to "meet with classes, talk to student and community groups, and perform." This marks the first faculty appointment of a Hip Hop pioneer at a major university.

One of the first commercially successful rappers, Kurtis Blow said during a 2011 interview that films played an integral role in popularizing the term “Hip Hop," even though it began on a more grassroots level. “They started calling it Hip Hop after the first couple of movies were being made like Beat Street,” he said. “The phrase was coined back then but we also have the great Lovebug Starski and Keith Cowboy - R.I.P. - who were two MCs who actually came up with the term before the records, but the name actually caught on after the movies came out.”

In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine named Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" as the greatest Hip Hop song of all time. Melle Mel was the primary performer on "The Message."

A posthumous proclamation will also be given tomorrow to Pete (DJ) Jones, who died in January.

“Pete gave many of the pioneers of hip-hop culture a platform to showcase their talent,” Cabrera’s office said in an announcement of the event.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Thursday, September 12, 2013


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Afrika Bambaataa Has Been Appointed Visiting Scholar At Cornell University

Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection has appointed Bambaataa as a visiting scholar for a three-year term. He will visit the Ithaca, New York campus several days each year to “meet with classes, talk to student and community groups, and perform.” This marks the first faculty appointment of a Hip Hop pioneer at a major university and who is more qualified than its Amen-Ra? Cornell University Library, the largest national archive on Hip Hop culture, documents its history by preserving photographs, recordings, flyers and more.

They chose Afrika Bambaataa because he grew up in The Bronx River Projects, with an activist mother and uncle. As a child, he was exposed to the black liberation movement, and witnessed debates between his mother and uncle regarding the conflicting ideologies in the movement. He was exposed to his mother’s extensive and eclectic record collection. Gangs in the area became the law in the absence of law, clearing their turf of drug dealers, assisting with community health programs and both fighting and partying to keep members and blocks on lock.

Bambaataa was a founding member of The Bronx River Projects-area street gang The Savage Seven. Due to the explosive growth of the gang, it later became known as the Black Spades, and Bambaataa quickly rose to the position of warlord. As warlord, it was his job to build ranks and expand the turf of the Black Spades. Bambaataa was not afraid to cross turfs to forge relationships with other gang members, and with other gangs. As a result, the Spades became the biggest gang in the city!

After Bambaataa won an essay contest that earned him a trip to Africa, his worldview shifted. He had seen the movie Zulu and was impressed with the solidarity exhibited by the Zulu in that film. During his trip to Africa, the communities he visited inspired him to stop the violence and create a community in his own neighborhood. He changed his name to Afrika Bambaataa Aasim, adopting the name of the Zulu chief Bhambatha, who led an armed rebellion against unfair economic practices in early 20th century South Africa that can be seen as a precursor to the anti-apartheid movement.

He told people that his name was Zulu for “affectionate leader”. A young Afrika Bambaataa began to think about how he could turn his turf-building skills to peacemaking. He formed The “Organization” as an alternative to the Black Spades. Along with other DJs such as DJ Kool Herc and Kool DJ Dee, he too began hosting hip hop parties and formed the Zulu Nation, which became the Almighty Zulu Nation, and then the Universal Zulu Nation which is not a gang but what is now the oldest, largest, and most respected grass roots Hip-Hop organization in the world!


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