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ROLL CALL
During the aboriginal to mid 70s, visionaries like Kool DJ Herc alien new annual to the way music was played.
Like some added music-loving bredren and sistren alternating with myself, Kool DJ Herc was built-in in Kingston, Jamaica.
Following the footsteps of Jamaicans that came afore him, he relocated to the Bronx, NYC and took root.
With a complete arrangement like no other, there was consistently a affair if Herc spun records. Association from all city-limits boroughs showed up, and brought their friends.
A lot of of them had never accomplished annihilation like Hercs barrage in the clubs or at block parties, area he was a hometown favorite. Therell be added on these unique, amusing gatherings a little later. Kool DJ Herc was one of those bodies that was cerebration alfresco the box for a continued time, and aggressive added DJs to chase suit.
Everywhere Herc affected down, he larboard a characteristic mark imprinted in the minds, bodies, and souls of music lovers in and about the vicinity.
Afrika Bambaataa was acquaintance in the Bronx.
He is best-known for demography the radical, absolute factions of the Hip-Hop affairs and acclimation it all into an burghal music societyand for accepting the aboriginal rapper, ever.
In 1984, he formed on the song Unity with the afresh ancient Asperse of Soul, James Brown. (Were gonna absence ya, Soul Brother #1.) By bond block parties with DJs and break-dancers, he synergized all the capricious entities of Hip-Hop through his Zulu Nation.
The Zulus accomplished burghal adolescence about their history and empowered them to be advantageous citizens.
His aerial were accessible to all types of music as he became a agitator for aggregate adroit styles from Africa with Funk, Go-Go, Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Salsa and Soca for the aboriginal time in music history.
Bambaataas affiliations included the Bedrock Steady Aggregation and Double Dutch Girls. There was aswell a spray-painting graffiti artisan who parlayed his adulation for visual art into accepting the host of a accepted appearance that affianced the minds of Americas Atramentous and White youth. It concluded up alteration Rap music history all over the world. Now with a retired can of aerosol paint, Yo MTV Raps Fab 5 Freddy was aswell a key amateur in the archetypal film, New Jack City. Therell be added on that captured moment in time a little later, afterwards we accomplishment up with Afrika Bambaataa (& friends), and dig added into the chapter: theres some absolute meat in thar! Thats whats up.
Afrika Bambaataa became a above music ambassador in his own right. He spent a lot of time logged in at Tommy Boy Annal amid 1982 and 2005. While there, he produced a huge hit for the New York club and radio scene, 1982s Funky Sensation. To me, that song authentic a new era of music for both myself and the City-limits of New York. Funky Sensation helped to authorize a aisle that abounding brawl music producers followed, able-bodied into the new millennium. Accession actual Rap characterization that Bambaataa put some time in with was Profile Records.
Profile was the home of a leash that fabricated music history: Run-DMC and the backward Jam Adept Jay. Their chronicles authentic the next beachcomber of Hip-Hop and appearance by way of brimmed Fedoras, covering pants, dejection jeans, and unlaced, Adidas sneakers. During the winter, they sported snorkels with fur about the hood. In New York winters of the 70s, we sported hats like Kangols (still popular) and Robin Hoods(with ancillary feathers) on the dome. Some association admired toboggins and ski caps for their masking feature. Brooklyn afterwards best up a pseudonymCrooklyn.
Our 70s appearance aswell consisted of bright cottony shirts (Versace predecessors), polyester pants with stitched pleats alive down the abandon alleged Swedish Knits, and bell-bottom dejected jeans with zippers at the foot.
Squares (L-7s) wore no name rejects, but our accepted cossack included Converse All-Stars, red, atramentous and blooming Pro Keds, Pumas (my admired were rust-colored), PONYs, and shell-toe Adidas. We had absorbing acronyms for the closing two brands. I could acquaint you, but you apperceive the story. Looking aback now, I apprehension that Adidas kept the aforementioned physique appearance best than the Ford Explorer did! My New York winter-wear included snorkels, sheepskins, leathers, Maxie and Cortefiel coats with bendable fur on the collar; they were the rage. Humans got ashore up (ganked) for them, too. I already witnessed anyone grab a friends hat appropriate off his arch as the alternation doors bankrupt (this guy was quick!)
Some of my classic apparel are still intact: a atramentous Robin Awning hat with a now-wilted ancillary feather, a colorful, alive (big collar) polyester shirt with a Disco affair on the front, my sky-blue top academy graduation three-piece suit, Mack feature Maxie covering (it looked good; mom fabricated it), and atramentous Cortefiel covering are all buried about about Area 51. Dont ask me what Im traveling to do with them, but my coats still accept fur about the collar. Does E.T.W. (Extra Terrestrial Wear) complete addictive to you? Lets analysis in with Rush (Phat Farms), P-D (Sean John), J to the Z and Double D (RocaWear), Fiddy (G-Unit), and WTC (Wu Wear) for the final answer.
Im accepting told to nix the cruise down anamnesis lane and stick to the script, so its aback to the aboriginal bad boys of 80s Rap. Run-DMC and Jam Adept Jay opened up Pandoras box with their archetypal hit Rock Box. I got a apprehension of what was about the bend for Bedrock and Rap aboriginal on: sampled guitar crunches alloyed with dem phat Hip-Hop beats, boyee! Afresh the clear brawl appear something abroad to me up jumped Def Jam Recordings, LL Air-conditioned J, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, all application overdriven guitar sounds benumbed alternating with the big, abysmal 808 exhausted that acquired car trunks (and the central of your body) to vibrate.
Run-DMC and Jam Adept Jay un-laced their Adidas and went on to re-make Bedrock accumulation Aerosmiths archetypal Walk This Way, afresh arrive the aboriginal rockers to get in on it. Alternating the way, Run-DMC awash a few million records. In the accomplishments was one Russell Simmons, blame buttons on his limited control. Afresh he got a cellphone. But afore groups like Run-DMC fabricated it to the game, there was one of the aboriginal above alliance rappersAfrika Bambaataa. Oh yeah; alternating with his accumulation The Soulsonic Force, Bambaataa accursed off a ground-breaking attempt remembered as accepting most strategically launched from the annual of New Yorks burghal jungle.
When the archetypal Planet Rock hit Billboards archive (it hit the year 1982 in a BIG way too), the song appreciably afflicted music history.
It acclimated a agnate robotic, vocoder-like complete as the one begin in Kraftwerks accident Trans-Europe Express. Planet Rock was a accumulation of air-conditioned cyberbanking sounds and Hip-Hop beats. Meshed calm with samples from added records, it captured the absorption of music lovers bent dancing to the non-stop, blue awareness of this absurd new beat. Afrika Bambaataas Electro-Funk appearance went on to access the complete of music styles like Dance, Electronic, House, and Techno. If a complete arrangement exists anywhere in the galaxy, I adumbrate that Planet Rock will bedrock it. In the meantime, you can accept out for this archetypal hit on Internet radio, agenda radio, advertisement radio, clubs and brawl parties everywhere.
Nuff saidnext!
Creative minds of allegorical antecedents such as Russell Rush Simmons, Eddie Cheeba, Spoonie G, Lovebug Starski, The Juice Crew, Marley Marl, MC Shan and D.J. Hollywood are aswell a allotment of those accustomed as accepting key leaders in the billow that brought Rap music and Hip-Hop adeptness to boilerplate society. Abounding humans may anticipate the Sugar Hill Gang was one of a few initiating armament in Rap, but there were in actuality abounding added hot acts out there cutting to acquire their ante
like those affiliated with Rush Productions.
Rush was architecture a name for itself as a music advance aggregation to be noticed.
Ill clarify aloft the brief acceleration of the activating academy which followed this accident anon thereafter.
With affiliations everywhere and credits that cover the appropriate admission of Hip-Hop players like Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Scott La Rock, DJ Red Alert, and endless added faces hidden in the trenches, Rush was on a mission to beat the world.
The first-generation of Rap and Hip-Hop spawned a godfather, Russell Simmons, in accession to all these added artistic talents. Collectively and in unison, they helped to accumulate the cultural origins and complete of this music for an evolving world. The second-generation leaders of this new movement would cover Russells little brother Joseph, who alternating with Darryl McDaniels and the backward Jason Mizell, fabricated up Run-DMC: the aboriginal artists of their affectionate to go platinum by affairs a actor Rap annal on Profile Records. This was just the beginning; Def Jam Recordings was on the way.
Now lets affix the dots with Sugar Hill: Aback in 1957, a accumulation alleged Mickey & Sylvia recorded a Bo Diddley song, Love Is Strange. Guitarist Mickey Baker and a diva alleged Sylvia Vanderpool accustomed themselves in the music bazaar as a abeyant hit-making duo. In 1964, Sylvia affiliated a man alleged Joe Robinson. Their abutment led to the accumulation of a bequest that wouldnt play itself absolutely out until the Rap chic hit.
In 1973, Sylvia formed the dice and appear a huge hit, Pillow Talk. This song accustomed a architecture that would be followed beeline into the Disco heydays. Originally accounting for Al Green, his canyon became Sylvias annual if it tallied up a #1 R&B and #3 Pop hit. Pillow Talk was a adult song that featured lots of abundant breathing, whispers, sighs and moans. Its evocative of Donna Summers archetypal hit, Love to Adulation You Baby.
Sylvia Robinson synergized her abilities as a singer, musician, producer, and almanac controlling to yield her accomplished bold to accession level. As a key amateur at All Platinum Records, she had a duke in Shirley & Companys 1975 hit Shame Shame Shame.
This became a top brawl song, and hit #12 on the Pop charts. By 1979, Englewood, New Jerseys Sugar Hill Gang bankrupt a big move by absolution a classic, Rappers Delight. In the accomplishments were Sylvia, Joe, and their Sugar Hill Almanac label. Passing their genes on to son Joey, Sugar Hills West Street Mob went on to absolution hits like Ooh Baby and Sing A Simple Song/Another Muther For Ya. Added aces in the accouter included groups alleged The Sequence and The Blue 4+1. They denticulate a few hits with Funk You Up, Simon Says, and Thats the Joint, which acclimated a nice sample from my babe Cheryl Lynns song Got To Be Real. Well be demography her song afar and putting it aback calm afresh in accession affiliate of this book series, What Is A Song.
Using accounts money from Roulette Annal arch Morris Levy (you can acquisition out added about this guy in the book Hit Mena highly-recommended admired of mine. I could acquaint you more, but You apperceive the drill.
As Sugar Hill grew, so did its artisan roster, with the accession of Grandmaster Flash and his aggregate unit, The Furious Five. Although the Sugar Hill owners paid up a big antithesis and purchased the actual absorption in their aggregation by the aboriginal 80s, things began to acerb for them: a accord with MCA Annal died and a blaze broiled their allegorical studio. The characterization eventually shut it doors by 1986.
Almost 10 years later, retail-friendly Rhino Annal best up the Sugar Hill archive and resuscitated the masters in the aforementioned way that theyve done with abounding added absent or abstruse masters. Through artistic re-packaging, Rhino went on to abate the music (and some careers) of artists that were apparently still cat-and-mouse on royalties from the antecedent owners of their adept recordings. The Sugar Hill Gang, West Street Mob and Sequence all accept been appear on assorted Sugar Hill compilations.
An absorbing accident afterwards the Sugar Hill advance was the massive availability of the sequencer, boom machine, synthesizer, adornment and MIDI about the aboriginal 80s.
Creatives and infamists
a allotment of the brand of Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, The Bomb Squad and ambassador Marley Marl bound themselves up in Big Apple laboratories advancing up with the next baleful mix of sound. If released, Def Jam and the Sound of Marl bound put music admirers into a yoke as concoctions they aerated up became awful almighty chemicals on the accepted periodic music table of elements aloft hitting the airwaves; through radio station, adaptable and club DJs. I cannot over-emphasize it enough: BIG UPS to these guys! Afterwards the artistic synergy of vocalists, musicians and producers, DJs are accustomed as accepting one of the a lot of absolute pipelines to agitative new music. You should yield agenda that DJ makes up the brand of Def Jam. Now lets accumulate the almanac playing; teachers not through with todays assignment yet
Independent labels like Profile, Sugar Hill, Priority, 4th. & Broadway and Tommy Boy biconcave up young, accomplished Hip-Hop artists.
Above labels like Columbia, Epic, MCA, Mercury and Warner Brothers got an aboriginal jump on the bold as they formed alliances with Rap labels and artists. Moves like these were accomplished through street-savvy labels like Def Jam. It grew into the premier, multi-faceted music amassed of the century. Started in a academy abode room, Def Jam is now managed from a accumulated boardroom, and annual hundreds of millions.
Founder Russell Simmons beggared from his allotment of the aggregation in 1999, afterwards the Universal Music Accumulation fabricated him a $100 actor action that he couldnt refuse.
Were not talking pesos here, folks!
Lets breeze through a few battleground contest apropos Def Jam Recordings: In 1983, the aggregation was founded by Russell, who was alleged Rush if he was business ally with one Rick Rubin.
Afore this anatomy of assimilation occurred, Simmons did the business abaft antecedents like Kurtis Blow, the aboriginal Rap artisan with a above almanac deal.
He alive on with Mercury Records; it was a allotment of the PolyGram administration machine.
The characterization went on to coin a abiding accord with Kurtis Blow, Russell Rush Simmons, and his growing company.
In bounce of 1984, I began a two analysis internship with Def Jams distributor. By abatement quarter, I was a academy rep. During Def Jams aboriginal decade, I marketed and answer every almanac appear through the pipeline. This included music by the distributors affiliated Epic label. Epic was built-in to CBS Annal (a analysis of CBS, Inc.) during the aboriginal 50s. It was a admirable little Classical/Jazz characterization and grew to be a strong, advantageous above characterization with abounding alive physique locations (Rock, R&B, Country). Epic best up added siblings. One of them was T-Neck Records. An affecting Soul/R&B/Funk aggregate of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and above the new millennium terrain, The Isley Brothers ran a music authority tucked central this fully-functional affinity units clothes. And coffer accountlets alarm it a budget.
Another affinity was Portrait Records. By the 80s, Portrait had awash millions of annal by above stars like Cyndi Lauper, Sade and Stanley Clarke. Since Epic was the oldest kid, it acquired a close abode in history as the foundation that accurate the head of none added than the King of Pop music, Michael Jackson. As a amount of fact, the above advance accompanist of Motowns Jackson Five actively alternate (along with berserk bright CBS Annal accumulation admiral Walter Yetnikoff) in the cost of CBS exceptionable baby (CBS Records, Inc.) to the Sony Corporation in 1988. By 2004, Sony Music Ball had circumscribed its monster Columbia and Epic labels, afresh alloyed with accession above almanac label: BMG. On the Internet, iTunes was affairs millions of agenda downloads. But thats a adventure for later. Stay tuned.
Def Jam artefact began abounding through anon afterwards I jumped in the big bold to see if I could swim. I witnessed the music of abounding groundbreaking artists rushed through the system. Notable admiral like Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles entered the fold, as promoters like Wes Johnson and Johnnie Walker bound down efforts to about-face the airwaves into Def Jam radio. Def Jam became one of the hottest bolt in administration by the added above characterization aural a above label.
This almanac aggregation fabricated its mark by application a red brand on the artefact it manufactured. Columbia Annal was the big brother of Def Jam: the hottest Rap characterization in the Hip-Hop market. Def Jam had million-selling acts like LL Air-conditioned J, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, and afterwards arrivals like DMX, afresh Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records.
Columbia, aswell accepted as Big Red, was endemic by music behemothic CBS Records.
By 1991, CBS Annal was purchased by the Sony Corporation for some $2 billion that Ill say came out of the petty banknote fund (they had OLD money, and affluence of it).
CBS Annal afterwards became Sony Music Entertainment. If you havent estimated already (whereve you been?), heres a prediction: youll apprehend about added adventures with the firm as we move along.
Between all of this promoting (as a academy rep), I managed accepting an addition to Russell Simmons at a Jack The Rapper assemblage in Atlanta by Columbias civic administrator of Atramentous music promotion,
Absence Mike Bernardo, who is such a candied lady.
At this time, she was next in band to the vice-president of Columbias civic advance department: Vernon Slaughter and Mike Bernardo were amenable for the all-embracing achievement of Columbias Atramentous radio and club advance department. Vernon afterwards became one of Atlantas top adeptness brokers. He was LaFace Records aboriginal accepted manager, alone signing artists like Toni Braxton to the label. He afterwards became a key amateur at a law close headed up by assertive ball advocate Joel Katz, and was the acknowledged beef abaft abounding artisan deals, cine soundtracks and no cogent what else!
As vice-president and civic administrator respectively, Vernon and Mike implemented the civic strategies set alternating by Columbia. The agents consisted of dozens of bounded advance humans strategically placed in key American cities.
Throughout my career at the characterization Vernon, Mike, and the advance humans I knew showed me affluence of love, and were capital players in the game, too.
Not continued afterwards Def Jams arrival, I became an annual account rep, afresh a Atramentous music business rep for Sonys southeast bounded annex in Atlanta. I agnosticism if there was any connection. Anyway, Def Jam larboard Sony for PolyGram in 1994 (also the year that I beggared aggregation with Sony and launched a recording studio); that aforementioned year, PolyGram purchased 50% of Sonys backing in Def Jam.
By 1996, PolyGram bought accession 10%, and in 1998 the Universal Music Accumulation (UMG) acquired PolyGram Accumulation Administration (PGD) to become the worlds better almanac label. Afterwards a alternation of above operational changes, longtime staffers Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles burst ties with Def Jam, which by now had developed to cover added hot labels like Atlanta-based Def Jam South (headed up by The Geto Boys Mr. Scarface), Disturbing Tha Peace (Ludacris), Def Soul, Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Roc-A-Fella.
Though DMXs artefact was appear through Def Jam, his Ruff Ryders aggregation got a characterization accord with Interscope.
In the column Cohen/Liles era, above LaFace/Arista big-wig L.A. Reid re-appeared at the captain of the big ship.
Then, multi-platinum rapper Jay-Z became the new arch of Def Jam (now allotment of Island Def Jam Music Group), proving that he too, could do what Rap music authority Russell Simmons allegorical rapper Kurtis Blow said he capital to do: Rule The World.
The approaching of Def Jam included affairs for added affiliations with labels like Atlantas Slip-N-Slide Annal (Ying Yang Twins).
Atlanta was now a city-limits on the move, and Simmons fabricated it a common stop on his all-embracing itinerary.
From Rush Productions and Kurtis Blow to Def Jam, OBR and Rush Associated Labels, to Rush Communications and Phat Farms, the Visa Rush Card, a admirable model-wife and kids, to astronomic amounts of approaching banknote flow, Russell Simmons approved his adeptness to serve as the Rap games foremost allegorical handand head of the household, too. He was the accepted captain of a ship, abyssal through those often-bumpy amnion of the consistently alive Rap/Hip-Hop industry. Def Jam Recordings became an amazing multimedia aggregation because of a bent visionarys adeptness to ability out and blow people through the adeptness of Rap music and the Hip-Hop culture.
Simply put, none of these entities could be announced of after acknowledgment of the abundant and powerful, Mr. Rush.