Afrika Bambaataa‘s record collection recently found a new home at Cornell University and as we mentioned, they’re hitting the road via the deft turntablist skills of DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist. Tonight the crew brings their ‘Renegades of Rhythm’ vinyl / video performance to House of Blues Chicago for what’s certain to be both a history lesson and celebration of the music upon which Hip-Hop culture was born. As the video above indicates this set is all about the ‘original breaks,’ the songs that sometimes had only a few seconds of desirable material (the ‘break’), which was then looped over and over using two copies of the same record.
Cut Chemist says it best in his interview with axs.com:
“Afrika Bambataa’s copies are the copies that generated the beginnings of Hip-Hop. The park jams, and pre-music industry Hip-Hop you know, which was the live happening. The shows and the jams and stuff like that. And Bam was one of the forefathers, along with Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash and stuff like that were playing these specific records. Not the music, these records. These were the records on the turntables, at these places at these times that started Hip-Hop. I mean, yeah, I have the same music, and same records, but you know, these copies mean something different.”
These records also inspired B-boys and breakdancing. Check this video from earlier in September (95% sure we’ll see this tonight in Chicago too):
And if you like to look at record porn, dive in over at egotripland.com. There’s a limited edition book available which catalogs some of the more important and visually interesting records from Bam’s collection.