When the Beat Was Born
DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip HopBook - 2013
A John Steptoe New Talent Award Winner
Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc.
On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks--the musical interludes between verses--longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born . From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.