DJ Kool Herc

Jamaican American DJ / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Clive Campbell (born April 16, 1955), better known by his stage name DJ Kool Herc, is a Jamaican American DJ who is credited with contributing to the development of hip hop music in the Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s through a "Back to School Jam",[5] hosted by Clive and his younger sister Cindy on August 11, 1973, at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. His younger sister, Cindy Campbell, wanted to earn extra cash for back-to-school clothes. She decided to throw a party that her older brother, then just 18 years old, would play music for the neighborhood in their apartment building. She promoted the event with flyers and organized the party.[6] She also styled her brothers clothes for the party.[7] Campbell began playing hard funk records of the sort typified by James Brown.

Quick facts: DJ Kool Herc, Background information, Birth n...
DJ Kool Herc
DJ Kool Herc in New York, 2006
DJ Kool Herc in New York, 2006
Background information
Birth nameClive Campbell
Also known as
  • Kool DJ Herc
  • Kool Herc
  • Father of Hip-Hop
Born (1955-04-16) April 16, 1955 (age 68)[1][2][3]
Kingston, Jamaica
OriginThe Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Years active1973–present[4]

Campbell began to isolate the instrumental portion of the record which emphasized the drum beat—the "break"—and switch from one break to another. Using the same two-turntable set-up of disco DJs, he used two copies of the same record to elongate the break. This breakbeat DJing, using funky drum solos, formed the basis of hip hop music. Campbell's announcements and exhortations to dancers helped lead to the syncopated, rhythmically spoken accompaniment now known as rapping.

He called the dancers "break-boys" and "break-girls", or simply b-boys and b-girls. Campbell's DJ style was quickly taken up by figures such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. Unlike them, he never made the move into commercially recorded hip hop in its earliest years.

On May 3, 2023, Campbell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Musical Influence Award category. [8]