It is always great when you can put a face to a familiar sound. When I first research who Afrika Bambaataa was, the most popular link brought me to a youtube video titled, “Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock”. I had no clue what sound to expect from a video thumbnail of a man wearing a leather horned helmet, but I was quickly satisfied. As soon as I heard the beat, it brought memories of familiarity. It was one of those moments you get when you’ve heard the sound multiple times at parties, or in movies, but had no idea what it was called or who was the genius behind it.
Afrika Bambaataa is a rapper, producer and songwriter from the South Bronx, New York in the 80’s. Bambaataa is known for creating a mix of both hip hop and electric sounds and is said to be inspired from both the sounds of DJ Kool Herc and the Black liberation movement. In addition, Bambaataa was a very prominent face of Hip Hop when the genre had a perception of being violent and drug affiliated. He used his platform to remind others that Hip Hop was created to bring all people together, especially the youth just as he did when he hosted parties. Afrika bambaataa is a large contributor and influencer to the evolution and sound of Hip Hop we know today.