Bambaatta, who turns 55 today, has played an integral role in hip-hop since its emergence out of the South Bronx decades ago. A groundbreaking DJ and producer, he’s been responsible for helping the artform transcend cultural barriers, thus garnering the titles of “Grandfather” and “Godfather” of hip-hop as well as the Father of The Electro Funk Sound.
The legendary figure is responsible for a slew of all-time classic records including 1981′s “Jazzy Sensation,” 1982′s “Planet Rock,” the James Brown-duet “Unity” and plenty more, not to mention 1986′s critically-acclaimed Planet Rock: The Album. As if those weren’t enough accolades, in 2007 Bambaatta was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and the Beastie Boys.
Also celebrating a b-day, Redman, 42, has come a long way since first entering the scene with his guest appearances on EPMD’s 1990 album Business as Usual (on the tracks “Hardcore” and “Brothers On My Jock”). Since then, the New Jersey native has gone to become one of hip-hop’s beloved and enduring MCs to ever hit the mic. Throughout his career, Reggie’s released a total of seven solo albums (Whut? Thee Album, Dare Iz a Darkside, Muddy Waters, Doc’s da Name 2000, Malpractice, Red Gone Wild: Thee Album, and Reggie) and about three collaborative albums (El Niño with Def Squad, Blackout! 1 and 2 with Method Man) as well as garnering two Grammy nominations and starring in a few flicks (How High, Seed Of Chucky) and TV shows. Red is still going strong as he’s currently prepping the release of his eighth studio album, Muddy Waters 2, another installment to his Method Man-assisted Blackout series, and also the sequel to the duo’s 2001 film, How High.
XXLMag.com would like to wish both Afrika Bambaatta and Redman a very happy G day. Salute! —XXL Staff