35 Years of Hip Hop: It Began With Hacking a Lamp Post

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It all started in the BXIt all started in the BX

Image from New York Magazine

While it may not be widely acknowledged, 1974 is often considered the birth year of Hip Hop. Born in the streets of the Bronx, New York, hip hop music and culture has spread worldwide. One of the first acknowledge forms of true hip hop is the art of DJ’ing.

DJ Kool Herc is credited with being the first hip hop DJ. In the summers of 1973 and 1974, Herc would host parties out of the common room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. Soon enough the parties became too large and the party organizers needed a new venue.

Not having the funds to rent out a larger nightclub, Herc looked to nearby Cedar Park. It was here where Herc saw construction crews tapping power from the base of a lamp post. Taking the cue, Herc hooked his DJ’ing equipment into a lamp post one summer night. More than 3,000 people showed up for what was the first open air hip hop concert.

So this post is dedicated to those hip hop geeks who worked the crowd on a warm summer night in New York, with their amps and turntables pulling juice from a hacked lamp post. Where would I be without you?

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