Intrinsically, it’s difficult for me to go any further than taking the time out to embrace the place which has so many view as the birthplace of Hip Hop and put into perspective, its relevance in history. So, if you’ve snatched up that obscure slab of vinyl from your local charity store, which you just KNOW is going to have that moment in the track that no one else has touched. Or if once again, you’re getting up to stick on the latest phat Primo produced joint, it pretty much all started here; 1520 Sedgwick Ave. The Bronx, NY.
Earlier this year I finally found the opportunity to reach NYC.
I don’t know how many Hip Hop heads make this trip,but despite the obvious structural differences, visiting this social housing area in Sedgwick Ave must draw parallels to how a young kid might feel during their first Yankee Stadium experience. After years of living the culture, I just had to witness this place in the flesh and feel the vibe. In 1973 Clive Campbell aka DJ Kool Herc, was asked by his sister to provide the sounds for her birthday party.
The night was to be held in the recreation room of their block. It was at this party that the technique known as the merry–go- around was first dropped. The ‘break’! That instrumental part of the record that is the integral essence of any real Hip Hop track was born. Taking two copies of the same record & lining up the relevant sections, Kool Herc would go deck to deck to make the dancers go crazy. I can only imagine how it must have felt to have been there on the night. Witnessing that fresh, raw street energy, that was to play a major part in the evolution of Hip Hop.
Photography by: Benjamin Buist