Not NJ: 1520 Sedgewick Ave., Morris Heights

Forty-four years ago, on August 11, 1973, a Jamaican-born teenager by the name of Clive Campbell began experimenting with a new type of music at a back-to-school party organized by his sister Cindy. Using two turntables, DJ Kool Herc, as he called himself, repeated and isolated the “breaks” in funk records, giving shout-outs — an early form of rapping — over the music. The crowd responded, and in time he graduated to performing in local parks and nightclubs. In this way, 1520 became known as a birthplace — the birthplace, to some — of hip-hop music.

This account that recounts almost the moment that hip-hop was born, is from an article I edited in 2011 in Shelterforce magazine written by James Fergusson, the former editor of the Mount Hope Monitor and Tremont Tribune, two nonprofit community newspapers in the Bronx.

As we celebrate hip-hop’s birthday—and please do the cool Google doodle—let’s remember that proper investment in affordable housing is the lifeblood of so many communities. Who knows? Without it, we may not have hip-hop.

FYI: Further your information

Will Gentrification Spoil the Birthplace of Hip-Hop?” David Gonzalez, the New York Times, May 21, 2007

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