Sunday, 31 October 2010

Kool Herc/Grandmaster Flowers

 I am currently obsessed with the birth of hip hop, general consensus states that hip hop was born in the Bronx when Kool Dj Herc held parties in the community room of the basement of the building he lived in with his family, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.

Eventually Herc’s parties out grew the basement and moved round the corner to the playgroud on Cedar St.

Here is a short video that gives a brief history

Here is an excerpt from a documentary about hip hop with ace footage of Herc

Grandmaster Flowers

I can’t mention the birth of hip hop without mentioning Grandmaster Flowers. Flowers was a Brooklyn based Dj who preceded Herc, Bambatta,  Jazzy Jay, and Grand Wizzard Theodore. In fact legend has it that Flowers gave Theodore the grandmaster prefix. Flowers used to play in parks, school halls, and clubs. In 1969 when James Brown played at the Yankee Stadium, Grandmaster Flowers was chosen to be the warm up Dj. It is fair to say Flowers was ace… sadly it was a case of always a bridesmaid and never a bride as the djs he influenced became more popular he was less so. Towards the end of the 70’s Flowers had stopped djing and sold his records to fund his drug addiction. Sadly he died in 1992.

This link has a Grandmaster Flowers mix, and a brief history

This link to a few pages from the deephousepage forum, has a lot more info about Flowers, and a lovely post from Francois K where he shares his love for Flowers ( I love it when a post can combine disco, hip hop and house ).

I am currently reading “The Fortress Of Solitude” by Jonathan Lethem, as mentioned in the above link, and enjoying it very much. Lots of period details and Brooklyn trivia, once I’ve finished it I shall be reading more of JL’s work.

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