On this day, April 16, in hip-hop history…


1955: DJ Kool Herc, who is the father of the DJ breakbeat, celebrates his 58th birthday.

The BX native was a pioneer of isolating and repeating breaks, which was known as the danceable part of the beat. Herc developed the style that would become the blueprint for other hip-hop beats. His influences were pivotal in artists like Grandmaster Flash, who built upon his innovations and allowed others to bring their own approaches years later.

Kool Herc has prided himself for being the “first Hip Hop DJ illustrating the connections between reggae and rap.” Just for a little history lesson, here’s a clip of Herc describing how he thought of the idea of playing two breakbeats together, or better known as “The Merry-Go-Round.”

Happy birthday, legend.