By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Back on August 11, hip hop celebrated its 40th anniversary. This period of time always has a certain energy about it. Hip hop has changed so much from what it was back in the early 1970s that a lot of people do not consider what it has evolved to to even be a part of the genre.
DJ Kool Herc is credited alongside Afrika Bambaataa for creating hip hop, which most would not argue. Those who truly know about hip hop should know about the Zulu Nation and what it stands for. Afrika Bambaataa plays an instrumental role within the Zulu Nation and they are calling Kool Herc out.
According to a statement they released, DJ Kool Herc did not originate hip hop on August 11, 1973, instead he only threw a Back To School party. Zulu Nation launched on November 12 of the same year and then the “hip hop” phrase was coined. They have accused DJ Kool Herc of intentionally spreading lies.
Read the Zulu Nation’s statement below:
MISREPRESENTATION OF A CULTURE BY A FOREFATHER
By Quadeer “M.C. Spice” Shakir
Kool Herc is undeniably one of the forefathers of Hip-Hop Culture. No doubt about it. But the past three years, a shift in attitude towards the Universal Zulu Nation, who we are, and what we represent, became obvious when Herc asked that we exclude his name from all of our Hip-hop Culture anniversary flyers. We didn’t know Herc would underhandedly misquote himself, and misrepresent the Culture by saying Hip-Hop Culture began on August 11, 1973. There are facts, and unfortunately, Herc did not give them when he made this statement in a news interview on Channel 7 New York. Nor, did he clear it up when he further promoted false facts to NPR News.
Herc is our brother, but when our family strays from us, we must first forgive them for mistakes, but let them know of their wrongdoings, and of course, welcome them back with open arms. We could go on forever about how many artists who are heavily a part of, or were a part of the Universal Zulu Nation, know and understand how serious this is. By no means should ANY of us attempt to change the course of history and flip it for a dollar or for accolades from an industry of Culture Vultures called “the media”, when we have known and still do know that many in the media want the false, doctored-up UN-truths, not the REAL truth, especially when it comes to Hip-Hop. What is further disturbing is the falsehood that Kool Herc failed to respect the TRUE first ladies of Hip-Hop: ShaRock, Lisa Lee, Debbie Dee, Queen Amber, The women who were there ON THE MIC representing this Culture. Kool Herc went as far as saying his SISTER is the “first lady of Hip-Hop”. Kool Herc’s sister is also his marketing rep, and is part of promoting the falsehood that she (Cindy) is the “First Lady” of Hip-Hop. That’s NOT TRUE.
I may come across long-winded in this message, but to get to the bottom line, Kool Herc, aka Clive Campbell DID NOT BIRTH HIP-HOP CULTURE 40 YEARS AGO ON AUGUST 11, 1973. In fact, Kool Herc only did a Back To School JAM in the recreation room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. No emcees were present, no “Hip-Hop” was present (a term heavily used by LoveBug Starski and Keith Cowboy), and the Zulu Nation was already in effect. THIS is the reason for this message. Please get a pen and write this down, or go stand near the chalkboard and write this one hundred times to make SURE you remember: HIP-HOP CULTURE IS 39 YEARS OLD…ZULU NATION IS 40 YEARS OLD.
Some may say there’s no difference, and it’s only a year. But truth is, Kool Herc appears to be working with outside forces to overstep and outshine what is taking place THIS November 12th: The 40th Anniversary of the Universal Zulu Nation. Do you know how big that really is? How dangerous that really is? That so many brothers and sisters of the same accord have been together THIS strong for THIS long? Herc isn’t alone in how he totally misrepresented Hip-Hop Culture. But a fixture in the Culture, TV host Ralph McDaniels should be ashamed of himself for allowing Herc to speak a clear and evident falsehood on Channel 7 New York that August 18th. Ralph documented so many of our events and knows so much about the movement and the Culture. The very man who we trusted to hold the media portion of our Culture dear, sold out for a few minutes of talk time to appease the hearts and minds of a select few who could care less about Hip-Hop Culture.
To be forthcoming about the FACTS concerning this message, we MUST inform those who are a part of this Culture that Universal Zulu Nation does NOT condone falsehoods with respects to this Culture of ours. Kool Herc may have done PARTIES, but a PARTY does NOT represent a MOVEMENT. Nor does a PARTY CREATE a movement, But the CULTURE of Hip-Hop CREATED a MOVEMENT and REPRESENTS a movement. Zulu represents and always WILL represent the four spiritual PRINCIPLES of The Culture: Peace, Unity, Love and Having Fun. We also promoted and rocked parties UTILIZING the five physical ELEMENTS of the Culture: Deejaying, Graffiti, Break dancing, Emceeing and KNOWLEDGE. I would hope that Herc would adhere to the KNOWLEDGE of our Culture and refrain from the misrepresentation and falsehoods. This message is to inform you that there is NO TRUTH to what you have been hearing about Kool Herc and Hip-Hop having a 40th anniversary. Maybe Kool HERC was deejaying for 40 years. Maybe so, But Kool Herc has nothing to do with the TERM “Hip-Hop”. It was a Culture he was INVITED to once our founder Afrika Bambaataa FOUNDED the Culture USING the term. That said, I would venture to say that perhaps Kool Herc’s SOUND system, “The Herculords” is 40 years old, but not Hip-Hop. Give it another year, Herc. And give it a rest. We love you, but we MUST correct you, brother; Happy 39th birthday Hip-Hop, Happy 40th Birthday, Zulu Nation.
Follow K.B. Tindal on Twitter @KBTindal.