At 53 years old, Afrika Bambaataa has truly earned the title "Grandfather/Godfather Of Hip-Hop". With a body of work spanning nearly 4 decades, this former Bronx street gang warlord and founder of the Zulu Nation is one of three recognized originators of break-beat djing and among the first performers to take Hip Hop from the streets of New York to the world at large. He's also (sometimes arguably) credited with appointing the term "hip-hop" to the now thriving collective culture of DJing, emceeing, break dancing, and graffiti art.
Best known for his genre defining electro-funk rap hit "Planet Rock",
Bam's prolific catalog boasts collaborations with some of the most
important figures of contemporary music including John "Johnny Rotten"
Lydon, Sly and Robbie, George Clinton and James Brown. Named one of
Life magazine's "Most Important Americans of the 20th Century", his
humanitarian work with community education programs, charities, the Stop
The Violence movement, and the African National Congress during the
anti-Apartheid crusade of the 1980s extend his legacy far beyond just
his enormous contributions to hip-hop, dance music and the art of turntablism.
Doubtful that he'll be donning the ceremonial headdress and wildly
eccentric outfits -- trademark of his live shows in the '80s -- his concert
scheduled for Friday, May 28, at Revolution Live is still an event not
to be missed. And for those who slept on his recent performance at
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Vagabond during the 2010 Winter Music Conference, this is a rare late
pass to witness a true living legend in action.
Tickets available online here.
-- Jasper Delaini