Afrika Bambaataa’s Record Crates Helped Create The Hip-Hop Genre. Get A Look (Video)
Hip-Hop’s three forefathers are often remembered as pioneers DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa. With all three men tied to the Bronx, New York of the 1970s, each brought a unique flare to the sound of the culture, with varying personal backgrounds.
Herc, a native of Jamaica, had a legendary sound-system, care of his Herculoids. Playing doubles of sides by James Brown, Babe Ruth, and Jimmy Castor Bunch, Herc bridged the gap between R&B, Funk, and Dancehall in making historic parties that attracted attendees from all over. Grandmaster Flash, who would later make history in Wild Style and become a master turntablist, also favored James Brown, along with acts like The Incredible Bongo Band, and some Downtown Dance such as Rockers Revenge’s “Walking On Sunshine” (produced by Arthur Baker, no less).
As for Afrika Bambaataa, the creator of the Universal Zulu Nation, things were a little far reaching. In the film Scratch, Steinski remembers Bam’s record selection included Children’s records, television themes, and even some early Industrial, like Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express.” The last record was the basis of Bam’s greatest hit, “Planet Rock,” alongside the Soulsonic Force.
While DJ Jazzy Jay commonly mixed many of the records that Bam selected in the earliest days of Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa earned the title “Master Of Records.” Fuse TV’s Crate Diggers series took a closer look at Afrika Bambaataa’s records, which were recently donated to Cornell University’s Hip-Hop archives. The Hip-Hop Collection’s Assistant Curator Ben Ortiz helped Fuse through a visually daunting tour of the vaults, with some great insights from the Master Of Records himself.
Ortiz goes through the vaults, and explains why some of Bam’s legendary crates will be forever as they were (very similar to Andy Warhol’s brown boxes).
Here’s three specific relics pulled, in full form:
“The Roxy” by Phase II (1982)
“Love Goes On” by Alda Reserve (1979)
“Sex Machine” by James Brown (1970)
What record do you think HAS to be in there?