Grandmaster Caz, the Bronx pioneer who ghostwrote the Sugarhill Gang’s groundbreaking 1979 single “Rapper’s Delight,” once said, “Hip-hop didn’t invent anything. Hop-hop reinvented everything.”
That statement rings truer than ever as we approach the 50th anniversary of Kool Herc’s first party in the Bronx, where the globally influential music and culture were born. And it especially rings true here in the Bay Area.
Hip-hop wasn’t fully formed in 1973. In fact, it didn’t have an official name until 1982, the year the Village Voice published a profile of Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa. Before Bambaataa joined the Black Spades street gang as a teenager, he hung out at the local Black Panther Information Center, and “his political leanings were encouraged by the appearance of songs like ‘Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud’ by James Brown and ‘Stand!’ by Sly and the Family Stone,” Steven Hager wrote.
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