DJ Kool Herc's apartment

Music Last of the Classic Beats DJ Kool Herc (album - 2019)
DJ Kool Herc invented hip-hop at a party in the community room of the building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York. The first impulse of a style that later became dominant. The starting point of a musical fresco with infinite ramifications whose sounds are now part of the DNA of the Big Apple.
1520 Sedgwick Avenue Bronx DJ Kool Herc
1520 Sedgwick Avenue - Photo credit: Fantrippers

“The power of the DJ? Motivating crowds. To possess the insight to do so. To have the crowds at your fingertips, to control them. That’s the best fucking power man.”

DJ Kool Herc

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Clive Campbell followed his family to New York City, in the Bronx. The latter is located on the edge of the highway at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. While several gangs began to emerge in the neighborhood, young Clive flourished thanks to music, particularly James Brown’s, and on the basketball courts. His stature earned him the nickname Hercules, or Herc to his friends. In order to share his passion for the new sounds he hears, the young man gives parties in the community room of his building. He then builds his own sound system, with two turntables. His parties became very popular in the Bronx. The one called DJ Kool Herc impresses by his feeling. At that time, he did not use a helmet. Only his passion and an increased knowledge of the records from which he composes his mixes allow him to give birth to an original style. On that famous evening of August 11, 1973, he hosted a party for his sister Cindy’s birthday. He is assisted by Theodore Puccio, the first MC in history. In the room, Grandmaster Flash doesn’t miss a thing. He will also be one of the pioneers of hip-hop thanks to his talent, his groove and his audacity. Since that defining day, fame has not caught up with DJ Kool Herc like many whose compositions were built on his teachings. Nevertheless, the honorary title of creator of hip-hop belongs to him. He whose beats are still floating around 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.


To date, DJ Kool Herc has only released only one record, or Last of the Classic Beats, with Mr. Green.

1520 Sedgwick Ave

At first glance, this Bronx building at 1520 Sedgwick Ave, not far from the Harlem River, is rather ordinary. But its importance in the history of music, and hip-hop in particular, is paramount.

It was within the walls of this modest apartment complex that DJ Kool Herc created hip-hop at a party on August 11, 1973. This event made 1520 Sedgwick Ave a sort of cultural monument. A monument that has been threatened several times. Like in the early 2000s when there was talk of turning it into a more luxurious housing complex. But the fights led in its favor won the battle and allowed it to keep its identity and to become officially the cradle of hip-hop music.

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By Gilles Rolland

Monday, January 31, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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