Fun fact for all you proud New Yorkers: the first time the term “hip hop” ever appeared in print was in a 1981 Village Voice article by Steven Hager.
The person Hager was quoting? The Bronx’s own Afrika Bambaataa.
And now, Bambaataa’s own personal record collection (plus much more) is on display at Boo-Hooray’s “Born in the Bronx” exhibit, launching tonight.
Curated from the largest archive of hip-hop materials in the world, “Born in the Bronx” features vintage manuscripts and notebooks, including the original lyrics for “Planet Rock” (Ed. note: just try to listen to that track without nodding your head).
Original flyer art by “king of the flyer” Buddy Esquire, who made the handbills for the Bronx’s earliest breakbeat parties
Archival prints from seminal shutterbug Joe Conzo, the man the New York Times credited as having taken “hip hop’s baby pictures.”
Oh, and crates of Bambaataa’s records. For sale.
A discerning vinyl hound (or just a discerning New-York-ephemera hound) might be inclined to make a purchase.
DJ: spin that shit.
Nota bene: Delving into the origins of hip hop? You can do no better than Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Nelson George’s Hip Hop America. And speaking of ‘81, definitely check out the Peter Spier’s first doc on the origins of rap battles, Beef. Busy Bee!