Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Origins of Hip Hop

Last week I highlighted a map from the colon-heavy You Are Here: NYC : Mapping the Soul of the City. Another good map (by RJ Beals) shows the origins of Hip Hop. Due to copyright restrictions I do not have the final map but an early version is on photobucket via OldSchoolHipHop.
The lower right corner of the updated version contains a short history of how DJ Kool Herc threw a party at the 1520 Sedgwick Avenue recreation center (Herc's family's apartment was also in this building) and introduced a new DJ style. This involved playing the same part of a song from two identical records on two turntables to extend the instrumental breaks. Here is a detail showing the rec center and other Bronx locales.
Herc, though considered the father of Hip Hop is an often overlooked character in this history. The Twilight Zone was his first professional DJ job. He also had jobs at the Sparkle Club, PAL and Hevalo. Burger King is on the map because they used to unscrew the tables from the floors and have DJ parties there.

The map is cleverly designed to look like the soles of a sneaker - the final version has "Sneakers Uptown Shoes Down!" added as a subtitle. 

For more info see the message board page at OldSchoolHipHop or buy the You Are Here book

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