DJ Afrika Bambaataa

DJ Afrika Bambaataa

Afrika Bambaataa (born April 19, 1957) is an American DJ from the South Bronx, New York who was instrumental in the early development of hip hop throughout the 1980s. Afrika Bambaataa is one of the three originators of break-beat deejaying, and is respectfully known as the "Godfather" and the Amen Ra of hip hop culture as well as the father of electro funk. Through his co-opting of the street gang the Black Spades into the music and culture-oriented Universal Zulu Nation, he is responsible for spreading hip hop culture throughout the world. On September 27, 2007, he was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On August 14th, 2012 Afrika Bambaataa was given a three-year appointment as a visiting scholar at Cornell University. The appointment was made in collaboration between Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection, the largest collection of historical hip hop music in North America, and the University's department of Music. a kid he'd rally his mates to go hunting rabbits along the Bronx River with bows and arrows. And he's been throwing parties since the age of 11. Of hip hop's founding trio, Kool Herc brought the breaks, Grandmaster Flash chased the technique, and Afrika Bambaataa dug out the music. Not for nothing was he 'Master of Records.' Starting with his mum's sizeable collection, Bam set the standard in digging for all the hip hop DJs who came after, seeking out any track with a funky break lurking among its grooves. As a former lieutenant in the Black Spades who transformed his gang into a breakdancing and DJing crew the Zulu Nation, he was also the main catalyst in carving out an enduring culture for hip hop. This interview took place in his old stamping ground of the South Bronx, complete with the sound of a not-too-far-away gunshot just after getting off the subway.

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