Father of beatdigging and hip-hop itself Afrika Bambaataa donated his record collection to Cornell University

Last summer, we made our way to the Master of Records Open Archive to take a look.

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For record nerds and hip-hop heads who know their history, there could be few greater pleasures than flipping through the collection of the man who, along with Kool Herc, is universally acknowledged to be one of the fathers of beatdigging and hip-hop itself, Afrika Bambaataa. Before his collection is donated to Cornell University Library, it is being cataloged at the Gavin Brown Gallery in Manhattan. The process is open to the public, and, unless your name is Jazzy Jay or Red Alert, it’s a unique opportunity to see the actual building blocks of this thing we call hip-hop.

 

Originally published on August 7, 2013.

 

Along with some other sensible vinyl fanatics, Wax Poetics made our way down for a look.

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Bambaataa has a lot of Fela records.

Bambaataa has a lot of Fela records.

DJ tip written on Sylvi Foster's Italo Disco single "Hookey" : play it fast on 33 or slow on 45.

DJ tip written on Sylvi Foster’s Italo Disco single “Hookey”: play it fast on 33 or slow on 45.

"Put the Music Where Your Mouth Is."

“Put the Music Where Your Mouth Is.”

The Alan Hawkshaw organ instrumental version of "Tramp" known as "The Champ." Later compiled on the Ultimate Break & Beats series.

The Alan Hawkshaw organ instrumental version of “Tramp” known as “The Champ.” Later compiled on the Ultimate Break & Beats series.

The inspiration for "Planet Rock."

The inspiration for “Planet Rock.”

A Zulu Nation Sure Shot. But which one?

A Zulu Nation Sure Shot. But which one?

Bambaataa's DJ tip: mix this with Edwin Starr's "I Just Wanna Do My Thing."

Bambaataa’s DJ tip: mix this with Edwin Starr’s “I Just Wanna Do My Thing.”

Yet another classic break beat, this time from ex–Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Rubber stamped by Bambaataa.

Yet another classic break beat, this time from ex–Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Rubber stamped by Bambaataa.

Gargantuan old school break "Look for Love" lives on this LP.

Gargantuan old school break “Look for Love” lives on this LP.

"What we gonna do right here is go back..."

“What we gonna do right here is go back…”

Bambaataa apprenticed under fellow Black Spade-turned-DJ Disco King Mario, and ended up with his copy of It's Just Begun.

Bambaataa apprenticed under fellow Black Spade-turned-DJ Disco King Mario, and ended up with his copy of It’s Just Begun.

Doubles of Babe Ruth's rock break "Keep Your Distance."

Doubles of Babe Ruth’s rock break “Keep Your Distance.”

Engine Engine Number 9...

“Engine engine number 9…”

You thought Common and Dilla were the first ones to mess with Bobby Caldwell?

You thought Common and Dilla were the first ones to mess with Bobby Caldwell?

Bob James was there from the beginning.

Bob James was there from the beginning.

The source of the incorrect rumor that Bambaataa's birth name was Kevin Donovan. Donovan was the leader of the band on this record, not Bambaataa himself.

The source of the incorrect rumor that Bambaataa’s birth name was Kevin Donovan. Donovan was the leader of the band on this record, not Bambaataa himself.

The cover design of New Birth's Behold the Mighty Army is very similar to Bambaataa's "Renegades of Funk" single.

The cover design of New Birth’s Behold the Mighty Army is very similar to Bambaataa’s “Renegades of Funk” single.

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7 Responses

  1. dope to see this ”wow” thanks for the pic’s

    – dj rec
  2. Pretty sure the unidentified “Zulu Nation Sure Shot” is actually Dayton “Cutie Pie”.

    El Keter ben Tzadik
  3. Respect to Rich Medina making this happen.

    Funkaholic
  4. Amazing Shite! what a good initiative!

    DJ realROZZANO!
  5. Co-sign on the covered label as “Cutie Pie.”
    Wish I could see the whole collection. Wow!

    Niel
  6. Great set of pictures and disks – vinyl rules (;-)

    – Simon
  7. A true pioneer who knew the legacy he would leave behind and had the wherewithal to protect it by storing it, so that the curating of this treasure will continue to keep it alive, to be appreciated, danced to, and NEVER forgotten!

    Carlos

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