It All Began at a Birthday Party
The origins of Hip-Hop can be traced back to one person – Clive Campbell. This young man grew up in the Bronx and went by the name of DJ Kool Herc. On August 11th, 1973, Herc was at a birthday party for his sister, Cindy, at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx.
According to Cindy, her dad had brought drinks from a local warehouse, while her mother served the snacks. It was a very humble party, but one that would have an incredible impact on the world.
The Birth of Scratching
It was here where Herc was taking part as both an MC and a DJ in the recreation room. He was spinning his turntables in a way that many in attendance had never seen or heard before. The scratches that came from his set were completely unique and brought an attitude that felt fresh, raw, and rough around the edges.
Apparently, Herc had been working hard behind the scenes for many months, using two turntables and two copies of the same record to play “the frantic grooves at the beginning or in the middle of the song.”
A Guest Started to Rap
During DJ Kool Herc’s set, one of his friends who went by the name of Coke La Rock, started to speak to the rhythm of the music. This technique quickly became known as “rapping.” Others in attendance (some verified, some not) would go on to become Hip-Hop pioneers.
These included the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Caz, KRS-One, Kool DJ Red Alert, and Cold Crush Brothers, to name a few. 1520 Sedgwick Avenue would retroactively be known by many as “the birthplace of Hip-Hop.”
Despite this, many experts in the genre are sure that the culture was already starting to taking shape a few years before. But this day is widely considered to have springboarded Hip-Hop into the public consciousness.