(NOTE: I’m assuming it’s alright for me to write about Kool Herc, because he’s not on Young Money. In fact, you could say he’s the antithesis of Young Money. Lollerskates.)
Anyone else get kinda jealous yesterday when several rappers on Black People Twitter were making a big show of cutting a check to Kool Herc, who was said to be in the hospital, suffering from a very serious illness, in need of surgery, and without health insurance?
It’s cool, you can admit it. No one visits this site except fucking losers. You’re amongst friends.
It’s not that I was concerned that Kool Herc might be able to pay his hospital bills. As far as I’m concerned, it’s should be your right as a human being to have access to whatever medical care you need – including preventative, not just emergency care, which is already kinda free, to Mexicans and the terminally dumb (no shots at the founder of hip-hop), at least until the hospital goes out of “business.” Certainly, it should be a right here in the US, the richest country in the world. The fact that it isn’t is one many reasons why this country is slowly but surely (and maybe not so slowly) coming to an end.
I was more concerned with the fact that Kool Herc might end up with more than what it would cost to take care of his medical expenses. There’s a shedload of people on Black People Twitter (though almost all of them are unemployed). If even a tiny percentage of them sent Kool Herc’s sister $5 via PayPal, like that time Noz’s laptop collapsed under the weight of so much shitty rap music, he could end up with millions of dollars. To pay for some shit that couldn’t cost that much money.
It was revealed last night in the New York Times, which must have had someone make a few phone calls, that the very serious illness Kool Herc suffers from is motherfucking kidney stones. Hardly a very serious illness – though I’m sure it’s painful. Don’t they have to take those out through your dick? I’m pretty sure I heard Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate talking about it a while back on the Stern Show. They stick some kind of tube up your dick (nullus on having to talk about dicks, but clearly this is necessary), then they pulverize them and remove them right through said tube. He said the sticking a tube up the end of your dick wasn’t painful, and presumably the passing the stones through it wouldn’t be painful either, but it hurts like a bitch when they pull that tube out. Your piss would probably burn for a week, as if you’d raw dogged Kat Stacks. I’d probably have to curb my epic coffee intake. I could see how this could be a debilitating procedure, for someone who works for a living.
It just goes to show you how worthless hip-hop journalism can be at times. I think the initial report re: Kool Herc’s illness and financial issues came from that show DJ Premier hosts on Sirius on Friday nights, when I’m on my way to put on a drunk. Truckers call in and answer 1988-era hip-hop trivia questions for a chance to win Gang Starr t-shirts that are probably left over from the Ownerz era, of which the less is said the better. But there’s usually not anything on Howard 100/1 at that time. But I digress. I knew something was up yesterday, when I checked Black People Twitter and I saw several updates that made it seem as if Kool Herc was on his deathbed. The fact alone that Kool Herc was trending made me think he might be dead. Keep in mind this was still a day before Black History Month. LOL. Then, a mere matter of hours later, I read that Kool Herc is actually at home, where he’d probably been the entire time. Who knows when he was actually in the hospital. But he definitely needs your money. Tha fuck?
I’ve always been wary of any story involving Kool Herc, ever since I discovered that he was involved in literary shenanigans having to do with a book for which he “wrote” the foreword. A few years ago, there was an article in New York Magazine about the effort to save 1520 Sedgwick, the building where Kool Herc invented hip-hop, which had been purchased by evil developers, like in The Goonies, and was probably about to be turned into a parking garage or some shit. The guy who wrote the article tried to interview Kool Herc, but come to find out Herc, who came off like a real douche, doesn’t do interviews for free, and the guy (and NY Mag) weren’t about to cut him a check to describe, for the umpteenth time, how he invented hip-hop by mixing two James Brown records together at his little sister’s birthday – a process I heard was actually invented by a teh ghey guy anyway. I took this to mean that it was arranged for Kool Herc to receive a fee, from the publisher or possibly from the author himself, for writing the foreword (described by KRS-One as wack) to Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation That Doesn’t So Much As Mention Biggie Smalls, in exchange for being interviewed for the book. Note that the book doesn’t include a disclaimer stating that the author paid some of the people he interviewed, and hence at least some of the information could be suspect.
Keep in mind, I’m not saying that definitely is what happened, because honestly I don’t know. It could be that Kool Herc wrote that amazing foreword for free, out of the kindness of his own heart, and the guy who tried to charge NY Mag for an interview was a Kool Herc impersonator. Why would Kool Herc be in the same building he was in in 1974? Similarly, there’s no way of knowing whether Kool Herc really is that hard up for money to pay his hospital bills, without looking at the contents of his bank account, and his sister’s PayPal account, and comparing that to what it costs to have a kidney stone removed, and then having someone from the New York Times call the hospital and confirm that they’re not treating poor people for free anymore. The part about him being on his death bed, as opposed to his actual bed, turned out to be BS, but I’m willing to chalk that up to a failure of hip-hop journalism.