Imagine it’s Aug 11, 1973. You have a quarter to blow and there’s a party down the block at 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx. You and your friends show up, looking cute, there’s already a ton of people, and the music is bomb. Heavy bass is bumping throughout the spot and everybody’s having a good time. Coke La Rock even shouts you out right before DJ Kool Herc plays the instrumental break of “It’s Just Begun” by the Jimmy Castor Bunch. You’re feelin’ fly, catchin the groove, and dancing to the rhythm right as DJ Kool Herc slides into another song. All night tracks collide with one another.
This style would become known as the Merry Go Round. The rhythm of multiple songs match a continuous beat while the songs get switched out. As one instrumental break plays, DJ Kool Herc goes into another one and this continues for much of his set.
The party ends and it takes years to realize the magnitude of what that night meant. You walk home with your girls, filling the street with laughter and gossip. Your friends walk you to your stoop and catch a glimpse of your big brother who opens the door. They giggle as they head for the train.
“So, what’d you do tonight” he asks, and though you don’t realize it at the time, what you did tonight was witness the birth of hip hop.