LATEST NEWS

The Birthplace Of Hip-Hop Gets Historic Props. Or Does It?

By Jeff Vasishta August 18, 2016
Os Gemeos' hip-hop mural, NYC. Photo courtesy of arrestedmotion.com

In real estate, there has always been one big unanswered question: Where did hip-hop originate? Perhaps, in truth, this question has been more frequently asked by music aficionados. But the question remains, did it start in the hood or in a plush Manhattan recording studio?

Related: As Netflix’s The Get Down Celebrates The South Bronx’ Hip-Hop Past, Its Future Is At A Gentrification Cross Roads

Most people widely accept that the reclusive DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell) invented hip-hop on a summer night in 1973 when he DJ’ed a party for his sister, Cindy. This potentially historic moment happened in the rec room of the apartment building where they lived at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the West Bronx. Herc’s claim to hip-hop fame was looping the “break beat” part of the same record on two turntables for an MC to rhyme over. Herc’s input was the theory behind hip-hop, distilled into its basic elements—a beat and a rapper. So monumental has been the mild mannered DJ’s contribution to the global phenomenon that his old apartment building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But Herc wasn’t a record producer or rapper so he didn’t make hip-hop records. The first hip-hop record to gain widespread popularity in the mainstream was “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979. That song, famously, uses a sample of Chic’s anthemic disco hit “Good Times”. It was recorded in the relatively plush environment of The Power Station recording studio at 441 West 53rd St in Manhattan which and written and produced by native New Yorkers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. So should that be the building in the National Register?

Related:  Is South Brooklyn’s Midwood The New Williamsburg—Minus The Cool Part?

Musicologists, though, may take issue with both of the aforementioned scenarios. They will be quick to mention the Last Poets, a East Harlem group of MC’s which arose from the late 1960’s Civil Rights and black nationalist movement. It’s been said their politically charged raps laid the ground work for the emergence of hip-hop. The group actually formed on May 19th 1968 at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem, pre-dating both Kool Herc and Chic.

Whatever your take on the birthplace of hip-hop, what cannot be denied is the fact that it started in New York—an older, more creative, vibrant and dangerous city than the New York of today. While respect has been granted by the National Register of Historic Places to Herc’s pad, let’s not forget the other factors that New York contributed to this pivotal advent in music history.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

  • AGORAFY
    Avocado toasts are the reason why millennials can’t afford a home, says one Australian real estate developer. #AvocadoToast #Millennials https://goo.gl/TBCPnv
  • AGORAFY
    Five years on since Superstorm Sandy, Queens’ coastal peninsula is in the midst of a development boom. #Development #Rockaways https://goo.gl/BRKRrD
  • AGORAFY
    It turns out, renters can’t get enough of good ol’ no-doorman-no-frills apartments. Too bad developers aren’t building any. #Doorman #LuxuryRentals https://goo.gl/pdnbo6
The Housing Market In Shenzhen, The Silicon Valley of China, Slows In 2017
The city of Shenzhen has been on the real estate radar for quite some time. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China. Many…
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
Millennials Are Fueling The Current Sizzling Real Estate Market
Ever wondered why the hosts of home improvement shows seem to be getting progressively younger, along with the fresh-faced couples getting their new properties made…
The Best Cities For Recent Grads To Rent – Without Blowing Their Entire Paycheck
What’s next post graduation? For most, the logical answer is to find a job. After the excitement of finishing your studies and the big celebration,…
Luxury Knows No Limit In Malaysia As A Deluge Of New Developments Hit The Market
The amount of newly constructed high-end real estate in Malaysia is almost as abundant as the lush vegetation which covers the tropical landscape. Despite vacant…
Don’t Call It A Commune – Upscale Co-Living Is Attracting Major Development
What may have once been referred to as a commune is today termed a co-living space. The big news that it’s not hippies with hemp…
It’s Official—New York Is Now The Most Expensive City In The World To Build
As if you didn’t already know, it’s expensive to build in New York City. Not just expensive but now officially the most expensive place in…
An Ultimate Destination For The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Data, Agorafy Prepares To Launch Nationwide
In the coming days, Agorafy will be entering a new chapter. It is the beginning of a new growth cycle in real estate technology with…

TOP 10