On September 21, 1982, when my first Village Voice feature story was published, many in the media thought rap music was a fad that would soon disappear. Meanwhile, I was already predicting it would soon take over the world, which it did. Although Kool Herc and Coke La Rock pioneered the hip hop style, it was Bambaataa who transformed hip hop into a vibrant cultural movement based in art and creativity. It was his way of helping his tribe evolve out of gang activities and instead put their energies into peace, love and having fun. Bam's role in shaping and encouraging the early hip hop movement has been vastly under-appreciated.
About the Author
I started out writing black comedy, but I'm best known as the first reporter to document hip hop and the instigator of the film Beat Street. I also founded the Cannabis Cup, organized the first 420 ceremonies outside of Marin County, and launched the hemp movement with Jack Herer while writing some landmark conspiracy articles.