Kool Herc Knights DJ Scratch As A “Grandmaster” (Video)
DJ Kool Herc is credited with pioneering Hip-Hop music, through extending the break-beats during his early 1970s DJ sets. The Jamaican born man also known as Clive Campbell has made limited music over the 43 years since August 11, 1973 (the date honored in many circles as Hip-Hop’s birthday). However, Herc remains deeply active in the culture as a living legend, historian, and pioneer figurehead.
Three days ago (December 20), Herc officially knighted DJ Scratch as a “Grandmaster” within Hip-Hop.
DJ Scratch reacted to the symbolic honors on Facebook. “I was once asked in a interview when did I feel I’ve “Made It”. My response was.. It wasn’t the DJ Championships, it wasn’t the world tours, the Grammy nods, the Gold and Platinum Awards, the millions of records sold or the longevity. I felt I made it when the ones before me (The Pioneers) acknowledge me for my talent and contributions to the craft & culture. I was blessed to have that acknowledgement happen many years ago. But the highest honor of ALL accolades or awards of a DJ is to become a Grandmaster. You can’t just call yourself a Grandmaster (As I see many DJ’s do), you have to EARN that title. As diluted and dysfunctional this culture has become, Hip Hop still has a Monarchy, a Hierarchy we still follow & must follow. I started touching turntables during the first 5 years of Hip Hop, So I always wanted to be like the first turntablist Grandmaster Flash, we all did. The Hip Hop DJ wasn’t an occupation back then, it was about rocking the party, rocking the jam, showing how nice you were and creating new ways to impress your peers on the turntables. So no matter what I achieved, I wasn’t satisfied until I got props from the creators of what I do. Now, my very long mission is complete.
July 2nd, 2010 I was handed down the title Jam Master by D.M.C. of RUN DMC. December 21st, 2016 I was Knighted a Grandmaster by Kool Herc. I think it’s now safe to say I’ve finally made it!
Salute, Grandmaster DJ Scratch – Jam Master DJ Scratch.”
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DJ Scratch also posted video of the knighting:
Scratch, also known as George Spivey, has been a professional mixmaster for nearly 30 years. The Brooklyn, New Yorker joined EPMD as their DJ and part of their production team before 1989’s Unfinished Business album. He was managed by Lyor Cohen at RUSH Management, and would tour with Run-D.M.C. Scratch would later join Busta Rhymes in the mid-1990s to become a feature producer and DJ for Bus’ and the Flipmode Squad. In 2016, Scratch did some of the scratches for A Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here… Thank You 4 your service. This year he has also DJ’d for Beyoncé; he is now backed by Roc Nation.
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Scratch’s production credits include Busta’s “Gimme Some More,” LL Cool J’s “Ill Bomb,” and EPMD’s “Funky Piano,” among work with Guru, ONYX, and 50 Cent.
#BonusBeat: A trick-driven turntable set by DJ Scratch in Las Vegas, Nevada:
The other DJ behind the booth is DJ Cash Money.