Before there was hip-hop, there was Herc. As far as deejaying is concerned Herc invented the wheel. The most influential founder of a cultural movement transcended into a hip-hop phenomenon. The sole heartbeat of contemporaneous youth within the jungle of West Bronx, mechanically Kool Herc was the very first to develop the definitive break-beat Deejaying, utilizing the percussion section of a funk song, isolating it and repeating it to develop a new dance beat. He would play Reggae/Funk and soul records for parties, although he was more interested in playing the samples of the instrumental section of a record. When the vocals would stop he wanted to capture the beat by playing two copies of the one record on each turntable and repeat that section(which was later a tool called looping made easier on electronic sampling). This was later refined by Grandmaster Flash. With this Herc single-handedly put his finger on the energy of a new brand of music. His name became synonymous with the pulse of the nightlife and every other name in the early movement learnt from Kool Herc.
Melle Mel is one of the pioneers of old school hip hop as a lyricist & as lead rapper of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Other Furious Five members included his brother Kid Creole, Scorpio, Rahiem & Cowboy Keith Wiggins.
The group began recording for Sugar Hill Records and were popular on the R&B charts with party songs and the like. In 1982 Melle Mel began to turn to more socially aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administrations economic (Reaganomics) and drug policies, and their effect on the black community. A song entitled "The Message" became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscientious hip-hop. Mel would also go on to write songs about struggling life in New York City, and making it through life in general. Grandmaster Flash split from the group after contract disputes between Melle Mel and their promoter Sylvia Robinson in regards to royalties for "The Message". Mel became known as "Grandmaster Melle Mel" and is now the leader of the Furious Five.
Saturday Beatles Brunch