Clive Campbell who is better known as DJ Kool Herc, Kool Herc or father of Hip Hop is


  • a Jamaican-American DJ
  • born April 16, 1955
  • the host of the first ever noted
    "Hip Hop Party" in 1973 a back to school jam
    in the recreation room of his family appartment in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, New York

"Herc was our first original DJ, MC, Graffiti writer and B-boy.
That's why we call him the father since all the four elements of Hip Hop

seem to be embodied in him."

Get a taste of the atmosphere of  a Kool Herc jam:

From Oldschool Hip Hop:


"Herc would purchase two copies of the same record and play them on separate turntables next to each other.  He would play the break beat on one record then throw it over to the other turntable and play the same part.  Doing this over and over, he could rock any house in NY.
After a while spinning the records got to be an all intensive thing and Herc wouldn’t have as much time to talk to the crowd and get them going.  He needed someone else to help out and act as the Master of Ceremonies for him.  And thus, for all practical purposes, Coke La Rock (later also Theodore Puccio) became the first hip hop MC ever."

Turntable revolution - The Merry-Go-Round

Herc invented a technique in order to extend the short break sections from the records he liked to play such as

  • Sex Machine James Brown
  • It's just begun Jimmy Castor
  • Melting Pot Booker T
  • Give it Up or Turn it a Lose James Brown

Kool Herc is described to

extend an instrumental beat to let people dance longer (breaking) and began MC'ing (rapping) during the extended breakdancing. ... [This] helped lay the foundation for a cultural revolution.

History Detectives

Watch Herc explain The Merry-Go-Round himself:

"The sun hadn't gone down yet, and kids were just hanging out, waiting for something to happen. Van pulls up, a bunch of guys come out with a table, crates of records. They unscrew the base of the light pole, take their equipment, attach it to that, get the electricity – Boom! We got a concert right here in the schoolyard and it's this guy Kool Herc. And he's just standing with the turntable, and the guys were studying his hands. There are people dancing, but there's as many people standing, just watching what he's doing. That was my first introduction to in-the-street, hip hop DJing."  From "Breaks, Bronx, Boogie, Beat: What Is Bboying? Page 17

46 years already - many more to go
46 years already - many more to go

Clive Campbell's influence on what we call "Hip Hop" today is from an indescribable value.
With his Jamaican origin, his innovative ideas and his desire to provide an alternative to the disco music and the gang violence when the youth could neither identify with one nor the other he caused a movement to start. 


"For over five years the Bronx had lived in constant terror of street gangs. Suddenly, in 1975, they disappeared almost as quickly as they had arrived. This happened because something better came along to replace the gangs. That something was eventually called Hip Hop." Hager, in Cepeda, p. 12–26

Hip Hop Evolution. Shad, 2016

"Party Over Here: An Oral History of Kool Herc's Historic Back-to-School Jam".  August 11, 2017.
"Today in Hip Hop History: Kool Herc's Party At 1520 Sedgwick Avenue 45 Years Ago Marks The Foundation Of The Culture Known As Hip Hop"
"The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States" (PDF). p. 5-6.
Roug, Louise
"Hip Hop May Save Bronx Homes", Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2008
"Hip Hop Nation' Is Exhibit A for America's Latest Cultural Revolution". Time. Retrieved January 1, 2009
"Breaks, Bronx, Boogie, Beat: What Is Bboying?". Retrieved August 23, 2017