Kool DJ Herc

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Kool DJ Herc
Kool DJ Herc

Kool DJ Herc (born Clive Campbell on April 16, 1955) is a Jamaican-American musician and producer, generally credited as a pioneer of hip hop during the 1970s. He was the originator of break-beat deejaying, wherein the breaks of funk songs—being the most danceable part, often featuring percussion—were isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties (AMG). Later DJs such as Grandmaster Flash refined and developed the use of breakbeats, including cutting.

He is also well known for his massive high quality high volume sound system, against which even superior DJs could not compete (Toop, 1991). Herc – from Hercules – first used reggae records and was toasting to the music like Jamaican artists U-Roy and I-Roy. But he started using funk records due to popular demand. Kool DJ Herc and his MC crew The Herculoids "started a movement which recycled the creativity of black American jive jocks back into the USA" (Toop 39). The relationship between hip hop and reggae became more important again with reggae artists and rappers collaborating with each other, from Yellowman and Afrika Bambaataa to KRS One and Shabba Ranks. Hip hop and reggae still influence each other in both directions.

During the later part of the decade, Herc was stabbed at one of his own parties, sidelining him during most of the 1980s as hip hop spread throughout the country. During the 1990s, he made several appearances, gave interviews, and appeared on The Godfathers of Threat by Terminator X (a DJ with Public Enemy). He still DJs around the world.

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