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.
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.
“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 inspiration for “Planet Rock.”
A Zulu Nation Sure Shot. But which one?
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.
Gargantuan old school break “Look for Love” lives on this LP.
“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.
Doubles of Babe Ruth’s rock break “Keep Your Distance.”
“Engine engine number 9…”
You thought Common and Dilla were the first ones to mess with Bobby Caldwell?
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 cover design of New Birth’s Behold the Mighty Army is very similar to Bambaataa’s “Renegades of Funk” single.