Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop's Early Years
What Clive Campbell¬soon to be known as DJ Kool Herc¬started at a sister’s birthday party in New York’s West Bronx in 1973 is now the most popular music genre in America. Hip-hop last year moved past rock in “total consumption,” including album sales and streaming, according to Nielsen analysis.
In a discussion of his new book Break Beats in the Bronx, sociologist Joseph Ewoodzie looks at an art form born of the culture of young, urban, working-class African Americans and rooted in African oral tradition. The likes of Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa also emerged as pioneers and, as hip-hop grew more popular, it was commercialized and appropriated by the mainstream music industry.
Ewoodzie is an assistant professor in the sociology department at Davidson College.