Friday, February 8, 2008

Nelson George remembers the birth of hip-hop

One of the newest talking heads at the Big Think website is Brooklyn’s own Nelson George, a writer who has keenly observed the popular culture for 25 years.

In this 7½-minute clip, Nelson recalls the genesis of hip-hop music. (In the beginning, God said “Let there be parties”...)


Michael Fisher said...

Yeah, well. I lived on the lower East Side during that time - '78 (Ave A and 4th). Wasn't no Hip Hop goin' on there, far as I recall. Too much H.

I remember my room mates and I (one Japanese-American who is now a top journalist in Thailand and Hongkong, one Irish-American who is now a Hollywood producer, and I) used to have this bloody club with which we killed them damn rats that came through this hole in a corner which the landlord refused to fix. We eventually put a weight on it.

On the other hand, the South Bronx was poppin'. I stayed with my grandma (PBUH) in the Sedgwick projects for weeks on end and witnessed gansterism being transformed Hip Hop crews.

Interesting times.

The one thing I wish Nelson would finally do, by the way, is tell the real truth and dirt behind the rise of semi-corporate and corporate Hip Hop and his buddy Russell.

He keeps romanticizing that shyt.

elle said...

I didn't know that punk rock were as intertwined with early hip hop, I thought it was just blondie and thats it... this interview was illuminating

Undercover Black Man said...

Michael: Interesting times indeed. But like Elle said, I hadn't thought of the punk scene as emerging from the same social forces as hip-hop.

Anonymous said...

The birth of hip-hop goes back to the mid 1970's but it didn't really hit the scene until 1979 with Rapper's Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang. The basketball and hip-hop culture fusion of the past 24 years (The "Dunkadelic-Era" In America) that was born in 1984 connected basketball on a large scale with the hip-hop culture. During 1984 these 5 events led to the birth of The "Dunkadelic-Era". 1. David Stern was announced as the 4th Commissioner of the NBA. 2. The NBA first introduced the Slam Dunk contest to All-Star weekend. 3. Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin formed Def Jam Records. Kurtis Blow released the hit rap song "Basketball". 4. The Fresh Fests was the 1st major hip-hop concert tour. 5. Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and signed with Nike to produce the "Air Jordan" sneakers. The "Air Jordans" became major fashion symbols within hip-hop culture fashion. The "Dunkadelic-Era will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary during the year 2009. A quater-of-a-century celebration of basketball and hip-hop as one.