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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Beginning of Rap
Notes taken on November 16, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
hip hop culture in the 80s
1970s arises in New York's African American and Latino communities
remained a regional culture
you would have had to go to e.g. the Bronx to see it
it was the same thing with punk at CBGB or Max's Kansas City
several components to hip hop
rap music
got the most attention outside of New York
break dancing
early rap
arises from neighborhood parties
Reggae music
started in Jamaica with the sound system men
DJ Kool Herc
was 12 when he moved from Jamaica to the Bronx
he had been to parties where people who are setting up the sound system and would get on the microphone and talk
the course of doing this, he developed:
the MC
brought in Coke La Rock
encouraged people to do break dancing
called them break boys and break girls
prolonged the breaks in records
it would break down to a good sounding a beat
took a cool section of a song and repeats it
gets to turn tables and two copies of the same record
keeps going back between the two and starts talking
two people influenced by DJ Kool Herc
Grandmaster Flash
born in Barbados
moved to the Bronx
took up the practice of two turn tables from DJ Kool Herc
developed punch-phrasing
most DJs today are working on a computer or laptop
but back then it was analog sampling
sampling by using actual turn tables and records
there was a lot of room for error
it took a lot of skill to pull this off
one of the first to use scratching
moving the need backward
although most rap historians would say that the person who created this technique was actually Grand Wizzard Theodore
perfected it and made it a signature part of his style
showed a virtuosity of being a DJ, a specialty of transforming these received sounds and turn them into more effective sounds in a dance context than they would have otherwise been
none of this at the beginning was recorded
you had to go to one of these performances to hear it
there were not rap records until the late 1970s
Afrika Bambaataa
a former gang leader
his idea was to use hip hop music and rap music to bring youth together to get them out of gang related activity and violence
must like midnight basketball, etc.
spend that energy in a positive way
established a group called Universal Zulu Nation
accredited with inventing the term Hip Hop
the term had been in the vernacular
but Bambaataa put his trade mark on the idea of Hip Hop of his idea of this culture
late 1970s began to be recording
nobody before this thought that there would be a rap record
Sylvia Robinson attended a party in Haarlem
heard some kids chanting over a song by Chic "Good Times"
she thought it was catchy
she had experience in the music business
she had experience as Mickey & Sylvia
1958 they had the hit "Love Is Strange"
1973 "Pillow Talk"
created a novelty record
called the group the Sugar Hill Gang
1979 Rapper's Delight
Kurtis Blow
1980 The Breaks Part 1
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
1982 The Message
dealt with the negative sides of urban life
up until 1982, rap was still a small, regional niche market, but some bands had shown that you could create albums with rap