DJ Kool Herc Clive Campbell or DJ Kool Herc was in born in Kingston, Jamacia in 1955. He relocated to the Bronx when he was 12 years old. He was called Hercules in school because of his tall and muscular body. This nickname then turned into Kool Herc when he joined a graffiti crew in The Bronx. He is known as the father of hip-hop for developing a style that is used as the base for hip-hop. Herc used two turntables with the same record in both and would focus on a short musical piece known as the break.
As one of the records played the song until the break ended, he would play the second record over the beginning of the break. He called this technique ‘the Merry-Go-Round’. He used crazy drum solos and different breaks in one song, and all this happened while he said announcements and fast words which are now known as rapping. His dancers were called b-boys or b-girls were the b stood for breaking, this would eventually become the hip-hop culture.
Afrika Bambaataa Born and raised in The Bronx, Lance Taylor or better known as Afrika Bambaataa is known for his contributions to hip-hop.
‘The Godfather’ as he called started throwing his own hip-hop parties in 1976. His ideology was to bring kids teenagers and young adults out of gangs and into a better music culture known as the Zulu Nation. He is widely recognized for creating electro funk, he used different elements such as German electronic music, funk, and rock all together which became an instant success.
In 1990, he was so prominent in the music culture that he made it into Life magazine’s ‘Most Important Americans of the 20th century. Grand Master Flash (Melle Mel) Joseph Sadler is another creator that moved to The Bronx at a very young age. His stage name is Grandmaster Flash, and he is known in the hip-hop world for developing and mastering three famous techniques. The first technique is the backspin techniques, which was his modified version of the break that Kool Herc did. He waited till the break was over to use a same short phrase of music that was looped for a long time.
The second one is known as punch phrasing which included a specific sound usually, horn hits and he would play this note over a beat using a mixer. His last technique is widely known throughout the hip-hop and the disc-jockey world as scratching. Scratching is a technique were the DJ or the artist, moves a vinyl record back and forth to form a rhythmic sound. He formed his own group which was called The Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and they became the first hip-hop act that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2007. Doug E Fresh Douglas Davis, also known as the Human Beat Box is also a rapper and producer. He started his music career as a solo artist but became popular when he joined the Get Fresh Crew which consisted of a group of Dj’s and rappers. He became famous when they released ‘The Show’ and ‘La Di Da Di’, a song in which MC Ricky D rapped and Doug beatboxed for the entire song. These two songs are known classics in the hip-hop world. Doug was known for two things beatboxing and dancing. In 2010 he made a small comeback when the hit song ‘Teach Me How To Dougie’ showcased some of his famous dance moves. What is the difference between a Rapper and an MC?
An MC is a person who moves a crowd and controls an audience with his music. Whereas rappers focus more on songs that they have produced. An MC usually will not have a set plot when it comes to shows and improvises on the spot depending on the mood of the crowd. A rapper does not involve with the hip-hop culture and is only focused on making songs for fame and money. But that only comes second to MC’s, and art comes first. 3. How did Jamaican Dance Hall influence Hip Hop? Who was involved? Please find two sources to support your answer. Jamcian dancehall is a modern version of reggae as we know it. It consists of laidback reggae with a mix of electronic music and melodic singing. The founding fathers of hip-hop are all originally from Jamaica, and they encoded the hip-hop music culture with their Jamaican roots with different styles and techniques. Dubbing and toasting which started in Jamacia evolved into what is now known as emceeing and rapping. The three major influencers are Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, and Grandmaster Flash.
The early parties that took place in New York had similar sound systems that were used in Jamacia. Breakdancing is a huge part of the hip-hop culture and this originated in Jamacia. It was a competition just like dancehall music and urban gangs made this a part of their culture and would have dance duels. What were the influences that made urban youth use turntables as instruments? During the ’50s and ’60s in Jamaica, the country had so lenient copyright laws which enabled DJ’s to use somebody else’s track and with a few adjustments and breaks, call it their own track. This made the urban youth look at turntables as an easy way to make music without having to play an actual instrument. Watching artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc make a living of turntablism and disc-jockeying must have also played a factor that influenced the youth.
How does location influence Hip-Hop music? Location plays a huge role in hip-hop, the best examples for this is music from places like New Orleans and Tennessee. New Orleans is known to be the city of music and is known for its huge jazz culture. Hip-hop from this region has a specific roll to its beats which makes it different from the rest. It also has a lot of jazz influences and rappers and MC’s have made songs with a lot of samples from jazz records. Whereas when you come to Memphis, Tennessee you can see the influences from soul, blues, and even rock n’ roll. Artists such as the ‘Three 6 Mafia’ are known for their use of low basslines, which is usually used in the blues genre.
What are the stylistic differences between West Coast, Dirty South, and New York Hip Hop? What are their sonic identifiers? (this is research OUTSIDE of the documentary) The West Coast is known for its gangsta rap, which included explicit lyrics over a funky beat. The hip-hop in this region did not have the best lyrics, but it did have crazy samples of beats that varied from groovy to a laid-back vibe. Whereas the New York hip-hop scene was known for its prominence on the lyrical ability of rhyming sentences, complex wordplay that told a story. The beats for the songs were usually aggressive when compared to other areas and usually had a lot of samples in them. The Dirty South had its own unique style when it came to hip-hop. Their music had a lot of horns and snare rolls which was influenced by the jazz scene in New Orleans, and their lyrics often had a southern lyrical drawl to it. Crunk is also a style that was popular in the south, it consisted of a high-energy chorus and a fast beat.