HOW THE BRONX GAVE US HIP HOP

DJ Grandmaster Flash, who created hip hop in The Bronx, photographed, in March 1999. Photo: Mika-photography.

HOW THE BRONX GAVE US HIP HOP

CHRISTINA KNIGHT | NOVEMBER 21, 2016

Hip-Hop started in The Bronx, New York! Visit the link to read ‘From Jimmy Castor to Grandmaster Flash — The Role of Morrisania in Hip-Hop’s Evolution,’ an essay by Mark Naison, a Professor of History & African American Studies at Fordham University. “The essay connects the birth of hip hop to the African-American, Caribbean and Latin styles of music that thrived in South Bronx neighborhoods like Morrisania since the World War II era.” http://bit.ly/2gQsk8K

The Bronx may have been burning in the 1970s, but creative innovators in the troubled borough were positively igniting the world of music with the new sounds of hip hop. That era of the first scratches, breaks, backspins, MC battles and more is documented in the fictional Netflix series The Get Down, and in the stellar PBS series Soundbreaking, which covers the history of recorded music over eight episodes. In Soundbreaking, the originators of hip hop figure most prominently in Episode 6: The World is Yours, which features Grandmaster Flash, Kool DJ Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Sylvia Robinson (Sugar Hill Records founder), and others set reeling by the beats, rhymes and stories of hip hop and rap.

In his essay, “From Jimmy Castor to Grandmaster Flash — The Role of Morrisania in Hip-Hop’s Evolution,” Mark Naison, a Professor of History and African American Studies at Fordham University in New York City, connects the birth of hip hop to the African-American, Caribbean and Latin styles of music that thrived in South Bronx neighborhoods like Morrisania since the World War II era. We thank him for permission to share his essay, once published in The Bronx County Historical Society Journal, Spring/Fall 2007 edition, as a kind of music history walking tour (see map, below).

FROM JIMMY CASTOR TO GRANDMASTER FLASH — THE ROLE OF MORRISANIA IN HIP-HOP’S EVOLUTION

By Mark Naison

No neighborhood in New York City, or for that matter in the entire nation, has been more important in the rise of hip hop than the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The Bronx’s largest predominantly African American community from the 1940’s through the late 80’s, stretching from Webster Avenue to the West, Crotona Park to the North, Westchester Avenue to the South, and Southern Boulevard to the East, Morrisania’s schoolyards and abandoned buildings provided the setting for Grandmaster Flash’s first neighborhood parties,while it’s after hours clubs offered a venue from groups ranging from the Cold Crush Brothers to the Fantastic Four.

How The Bronx Gave Us Hip Hop

 

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