KOOL HERC

KOOL HERC

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DJ Kool Herc Clive Campbell (born April 16, 1955), AKA Kool Herc, DJ Kool Herc and Kool DJ Herc, is a Jamaican-born DJ who is credited as originating hip hop music, in the... read more
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Location: New York, United States United States

DJ Kool Herc

Clive Campbell (born April 16, 1955), AKA Kool Herc, DJ Kool Herc and Kool DJ Herc, is a Jamaican-born DJ who is credited as originating hip hop music, in the Bronx, New York City. His playing of hard funk records of the sort typified by James Brown was an alternative both to the violent gang culture of the Bronx and to the nascent popularity of disco in the 1970s. In response to the reactions of his dancers, Campbell in 1972 began to isolate the instrumental portion of the record which emphasized the drum beat—the break—and switch from one break to another to yet another.

Using the two turntable set-up of the disco DJs, Campbell’s style led to the use of two copies of the same record to elongate the break. This breakbeat DJing, using hard funk, rock, and records with Latin percussion, formed the basis of hip hop music. Campbell’s announcements and exhortations to dancers would lead to the syncopated, rhymed spoken accompaniment we now know as rapping. He dubbed his dancers break-boys and break-girls, or simply b-boys and b-girls. Campbell’s DJ style was quickly taken up by figures such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. Unlike them, he never made the move into commercially recorded hip hop in its earliest years.

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