AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, April 10, 1960-

While DJ Kool Herc is widely credited with creating hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa led the way in disseminating it worldwide. His vision incorporated deejays, rappers, singers, studio producers, break dancers, and graffiti artists into one youth culture movement. Born Kevin Donovan in the Bronx, he took the name of a nineteenth-century Zulu chief meaning "affectionate leader." Known as the "Master of Records," due to his unrivaled disc collection, he experimented with recorded musical elements such as Latin rock. European disco, funk, punk, and the German electro bands such as Kraftwerk in order to create the ultimate dance environment. Although his primary creative medium was the club and street dances, he produced many important twelve-inch singles and albums during the 1980s, most notably "Planet Rock" with Soulsonic Force (Tommy Boy 823; 1982), "Renegades of Funk" with Soulsonic Force (Tommy Boy 839, 1983), "Unity" with James Brown (Tommy Boy 847; 1984), Planet Rock: The Album (Tommy Boy; 1986), and Warlock and Witches, Computer Chips, Microchips and You (Profile; 1996). While no longer in hip-hopís innovative vanguard, he has remained in high demand as an elder statesman of the genre, working parties and raves and often making radio station appearances.

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