Today in Hip-Hop: DJ Kool Herc DJs The “Rec Room Party”
On this day, Aug. 11, in hip-hop history...
1973: DJ Kool Herc hosted the first "Rec Room Party" in the Bronx, NY on Aug. 11, 1973.
It's mid-August in 1973, and a young, ambitious Clive Campbell is set to turn the tables with an all-star playlist at his sister’s back-to-school bash in The Bronx, N.Y. Little did anyone know that this day would go down in history as what we now know as the birth of hip-hop culture.
Colliding classic funk records from James Brown with eclectic, British rock accents from Babe Ruth, Herc became the creator of a new genre and a legend overnight after gathering over 300 people in the rec room of his family’s 1520 Sedgwick Avenue project complex. After captivating the masses and bringing a fresh sound to his first show, Herc was called upon to spin at much larger venues where he then found what is now known as “the break.” Closing in on a particularly percussive portion of a track by spinning the same record on two turntables, Kool Herc would isolate, prolong, and repeat a small fragment of a record that most people would enjoy dancing to. Cueing “the break” within records had a major impact on dance at the time, thus Herc became the acclaimed pioneer of the hip-hop terms “b-boys” and “b-girls” for the performers that would fall into “breakdance” during this segment of a record.
Over the years, DJ Kool Herc would move on to inspire other hip-hop legends in the making, including recording artist and DJ Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa. Herc’s notable innovations would create an everlasting art form and a known culture to thousands. When it was announced that Global Hip Hop Day launched in The Bronx in June this year, Herc was on hand as the gatekeeper to celebrate.
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