A Look At The History Of Hip-Hop And Rap Music Through Its Pioneers (Part 1)
On August 11, 2017, Google Doodle celebrated the history of hip-hop. Here are 5 interesting facts about this date and some of the artists that were featured in the doodle.
- August 11, 1973 is considered the birthday of hip-hop because DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell) pioneered a new way of playing music at a back-to-school party held on that date at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Boogy Down Bronx, New York. Instead of playing the songs in full, the young Jamaican-American DJ played only their instrumental sections, or “breaks”, and he noticed that the people were ecstatic when he extended the breaks. During these “breaks”, his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd by shouting out their friends’ names.
- The Google Doodle is narrated by Fab Five Freddy (Fred Brathwaite) who first became known in the late 70s as a graffiti artist. He is most known as the host of Yo!MTV Raps, the first hip-hop music show on MTV.
- Also featured in the doodle is Grand Wizzard Theodore (Theodore Livingston), the inventor of scratching, a technique used to produce sound effects by moving a record back and forth on a turntable. Watch Grand Wizzard Theodore explain how he came up with this technique.
- Sylvia Robinson was a singer, producer and record company owner who played a major role in the early years of hip-hop. In 1979, she founded with her husband Sugar Hill Records, the first rap and hip-hop label. Sugar Hill Records produced hip-hop earliest commercial hits such as Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight, and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s The message. Other artists produced by this label include The Sequence (first hip-hop all-female trio), Funky Four Plus One, Treacherous Three, and West Street Mob.
- Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) is one of the architects of hip-hop. He “perfected beat looping, and discovered many of the most iconic beats still commonly sampled today.”
“The part of his set he came to call “the merry-go-round” was one of the key creative decisions of 20th-century music – from that moment of inspiration, or madness, came the concept of breakbeats, and then sampling and digital music production technology, as well as more or less every kind of loop-based composition technique.”(Angus Batey)