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2.15.2005 

genius of the week


Kool DJ Herc is the originator of breakbeat DJing, essentially the essence of hip-hop. By isolating and repeating the "breaks," or most danceable parts, of funk records by Mandrill , James Brown , and Jimmy Castor , Herc created the prototype for modern-day hip-hop. Though others such as Grandmaster Flash perfected and elevated the technique, it was Herc who is credited for its creation.
Beginning his DJing career in the early '70s at a time when disco was king, Herc immediately distinguished himself by spinning late-'60s funk records of James Brown and Mandrill and isolating their breaks. Among other things, Herc was notorious for throwing all-night parties and invariably present at a Kool Herc party during mid-'70s were usually young dancers (called b-boys) who were early incarnations of the breakdancers of the '80s. Another Kool Herc attraction was his mammoth sound system which was capable of overtaking a party-goer's body, making them literally feel the music.

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