Happy Hip-Hop Day!
44 years ago, on August 11, DJ Kool Herc threw a party where he unknowingly started a cultural revolution that would take over the entire globe. Herc, often credited as the founder of Hip-Hop music and culture, took two turntables and a mixer and started to extend the “breakdown” section of the most popular music of the day.
Spinning two copies of the same record and switching back and forth between them so that the “break” would play longer, Kool Herc invented a brand new way of rocking a party. The extended break section led to people dancing longer which eventually birthed the art of the B-Boy and B-Girl (breakdancing).
Add to that the neighbourhood’s best wordsmiths jumping on a microphone and toasting and boasting in rhythmically accentuated poetry and you start to see the beginnings of what everyone knows about today. The final element – graffiti – rounded out the Hip Hop culture with the dopest artists on the block tagging up train cars and building walls.
This is Hip-Hop – in it’s most true essence. But it didn’t stop there. Over the last 4 decades the culture has transcended borders, politics, race, economics and much more to literally take over the entire world.
And we owe it all to a happy mistake 44 years ago. Thank you sir Kool Herc and all of the originators of this culture we love.
In other news, Google has changed their official “Google Doodle” today to a set of turntables and a mixer you can actually mix with. Salute Big G.
P.S. HypeBot has a great guest post about Hip-Hop’s birthday you should definitely read.