The Beginning of a New Era

Grandmaster Flash

January 1, 1958, Joseph Sadler came into the beginning of the year to then create years of influence. He was one of the members of the “Holy Trinity” that incorporated his technical skills into his craft. His invention of the turntable, incorporation of the crossfader, and use of DJ Kool Herc’s break-beat technique brought Hip Hop to the mainstream. His technical skills differentiate him from other members of the Holy Trinity. He invented the one-ear headphone that allowed him to hear the music playing on one turntable while pre-cueing the following recording and thus avoid missing or skipping a musical beat. With his driven mindset, he created two other techniques for the turntable: backspinning and punch-phrasing.

DJ Kool Herc

Born on April 16, 1955, Clive Campbell came into the mix of Hip Hop at 16. He invented the use of break-beats. When listening to his music, he brought out the most danceable part of any song. His methods of break-beats gave the dance of breakdancing its name. Within his craft, he incorporated his Jamaican culture which gave meaning to his work and set the platform for the hip-hop aesthetic. His breakout performance was “A DJ Kool Herc Party: Back to School Jam” on August 13, 1973. His break method heavily influenced upcoming MCs. The merry-go-round technique was the stamp that would travel and stick with many.

Afrika Bambaataa

Stream Afrika Bambaataa vs. Skeewiff - Mondo Funky Cool Feeling (Romano  Gemini Mashup) by DJ Romano Gemini | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

Lance Taylor came into the world on April 17, 1957. He was an MC that truly believed in Hip Hop being used to settle the differences between local gangs within the South Bronx. He was known as a Hip Hop activist.

“Bambaatta threw block parties that where he’d preach the four elements of the newly coined hip-hop movement–deejaying, painting graffiti, emceeing (rapping) and b-boying (break dancing)–and soon added a fifth: knowledge.”

As an activist for his people and the hip-hop culture, he created the Zulu Nation. The Zulu Nation was an international hip-hop awareness group that promoted the ideals of “peace, love, unity, and having fun” for all races, religions, nations, and civilizations.

The Holy Trinity of Hip Hop not only wanted to make music though the music that the younger audience could relate to. This was in an effort to save the younger and upcoming generations from the ongoing violence within the Bronx.

Duet from James Brown and AfriKa Bambaataa (1988)
Dj Kool Herc’s “Merry-Go-Round” method
The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (1982)

Hip Hop brought together many, but the culture has changed over the years.

“Hip-hop emerged in part, as a reaction to the socio-economic conditions in Black and Brown neighborhoods. The culture was broad and not just about the music; beatboxing, DJing, street art, graffiti, dancing, braids, and hairstyles all emerged as part of hip-hop culture,” states the Academy of Music & Sound.

Hip Hop has changed the music industry in many ways. These three men created a different approach to spreading awareness while creating harmony among the underprivileged. This was music that society looked down on, though there was true emotion put into the early works of Hip Hop. A genre of music that is here to stay and progress.

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