This extensive profile of Afrika Bambaataa was the first time the words "hip hop" appeared in the Village Voice and this story woke many people up to the fact that rap music, break dancing and graffiti were all artistically connected. More
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.