DJ – DISC JOCKEY
The hip hop culture as it is today wouldn‘t exist without the DJ‘s. They created the foundation for the elements to grow. When it comes to djing in the hip hop scene, you will always hear the same three names, Kool Herc, AfriKa Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, referred as the „holy trinity“. Sure there were other DJ‘s having an important role in the scene but those three were the one‘s who opened a new dimension to the world.
DJ KOOL HERC – FATHER OF HIP HOP
Known as the main founder of Hip Hop and his block parties. The first parties took place in an empty apartment in the Bronx. He always drove in his cabriolet with two huge spe- akers and turned the music up so everyone knew about his mixing skills and upcoming parties. He was the first one playing two vinyls at the same time of the same song and to extend the breaks in the records. This technique was called “the merry go round”. With this technique he became the creator of the breakbeats and so influenced the whole b-boy scene.
One of the first records he was extending was “Incredible Bongo Band – Bongo rock” on which everyone were throwing their moves.
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA – GODFATHER OF HIP HOP
Bambaataa, also called “Master of records”, had an arsenal of vinyls of every music genre (Hip Hop music finds its origins in Disco, Funk, Soul, Rock, Reggae,etc) and loved to mix those genres to create his own style. He was the leader of the gang “Black Spades” and respected by the other gangs. But as the killing in the Bronx raised he decided to do something unusual. He called every gang of the Bronx and held a meeting with their leaders explai- ning it couldn‘t continue like that and so they formed the “Bronx River Or- ganization”, later called the „Zulu Nation“. It isn‘t about territory and killing anymore but about a community coming together and it shouldn‘t remain a black and latino thing anymore. As this started also the philosophy of Hip Hop made its first appearance : Peace, love, unity and having fun.
DJ GRANDMASTER FLASH – THE SCIENTIST
Grandmaster Flash was also called the scientist. He had a fascination for everything that was somehow related to spinning movements. As he was tired of the cuts in the loops/fades of other DJ‘s and as the sounds never were clean on parties, they had kind of a hick-up, he decided to find a way to clean this, so he came up with the technique called “the get down” (quick-mix theory or backspin technique). He‘s playing two vinyls of the same song and marks the spot he wants to loop with a crayon on the vinyl in order to exactly know where he has to come back. This made it possible to get super clean loops and was the revolution of the Djing scene. Since he didn‘t have a good voice to be an MC and his DJ technique was hard, he founded the “Furious Five” who became known with the track “The message”, which was the first conscious rap.
A fun story, after the blackout happened in New York, suddenly tons of DJ‘s and MC‘s appeared out of nowhere with their stolen equipments. This catastrophic situation for the city became a blessing for the Hip Hop culture.