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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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Iconic New York hip-hop film, 'Wild Style,' celebrated on 30th anniversary

Director Charlie Ahearn's tale of a graffiti artist's quest is a snapshot to a former age - and gets its due with a 2013 screening.

Thirty years ago, of course, New York had a whole different energy.
The opportunity to experience that era again is merely one reason "Wild Style," the 1983 hip-hop verite-drama celebrating its 30th anniversary this week at IFC, is a must-see.
"It was a portrait of people I thought were spearheading a whole new movement that was going on," says "Wild Style" director Charlie Ahearn.
"These guys in the Bronx had developed hip-hop into a language. It was like making a big art movie populated by all these creative individuals."
The film holds a place in history for being the first representation on film of New York's hip-hop scene. In it, a graffiti artist named Raymond (Lee Quinones) who, under the pseudonym "Zoro," traverses the city - especially the South Bronx - spray-paining subway cars (stationary targets are too easy for him).
He avoids the cops, romances a girl (Sandra Fabara) and hits big when he tags the background for a major "underground" rap competition outside an abandoned downtown theater.
Among the famous faces in the film are Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash and Busy Bee.

The IFC Center is located at 323 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10014 For tickets and information go to or call 212-924-7771


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