With the recent recognition of August 11th 1973 as the official birth date of hip-hop music and culture when DJ Kool Herc threw a party for his sister in a Bronx building rec center in August of '73 that would spark an unstoppable global movement, hip-hop scholars, fans, and DJs have all been celebrating the landmark anniversary in their own ways. UK based DMC DJ champion turntablist DJ Woody, who uses both audio and video in his live sets, has come up with his own full performance that traces the four decade history of his beloved genre. Above is a trailer of DJ Woody's Hip Hop is 40 audio/visual mix that is a nice sequel to his last major mix Big Phat 90's that was presented here with an interview with Woody on the Amoeblog a year ago. Since Woody, who you can follow on Twitter and Facebook, only offers an abbreviated teaser of his full length mix in the clip above for this Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I have compiled a select mix of six key hip-hop videos that span the years 1977 to 1999 in the ever evolving and shifting genre's illustrious life.
With advances in technology - plus wide access to it - being a lot more advanced in the second, third, and fourth decades of hip-hop's timeline there are a lot more videos and film footage of hip-hop from the early 1980's onwards than in its first decade. For example tragically there is absolutely no film or video footage (or even photos) of the fateful day back in August 1973 that Kool Herc kick started hip-hop. The first video below is of New York in 1977 - a time when the city was in total economic ruin - and when hip-hop was slowly growing and expanding from beyond the Bronx. The clip is part of a VH1 retrospective on NYC and hip-hop. The other selected video clips include Kurtis Blow on SoulTrain in 1980 performing his hit of that year "The Breaks," the music video for Afrika Bambaataa's classic 1983 single "Looking for the Perfect Beat," andEric B. & Rakim's "Paid In Full" single from 1987 when (even only four years later than Bam's "Perfect Beat" electro fueled record) the genre had totally shifted in style and presentation with a different emphasis on lyrical presentation, and beat-wise much slower BPMs. The other two clips I selected are both from the 90's when hip-hop had subtly shifted a bit more. They are Gang Starr's "DWYCK" featuring Nice & Smooth and Dead Prez's "Hip-Hop" - both hip-hop songs that I believe are truly timeless and will always sound amazing.
New York Hip-Hop in 1977 (part one of two part VH1 special)
Kurtis Blow "The Breaks" on SoulTrain (1980)
Afrika Bambaataa "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (1983)
Eric B. & Rakim "Paid In Full" (1987)
Gang Starr "DWYCK (feat. Nice & Smooth)" (1994)
Dead Prez "Hip Hop" (1999)