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Afrika Bambaataa



Afrika Bambaataa Bio

Respectfully known as the "Godfather" of Hip Hop and the "Father" of Electro Funk

Known as the pioneer of hip hop and electro funk, Afrika Bambaataa represents decades of talent and creativity; from being the leader of the New York street gang Black Spades to creating the global, ground-breaking Universal Zulu Nation in the 70s and spreading the hip hop culture as the Grandfather of hip hop.

Afrika Bambaataa showcased his skills in the prominent Bronx rap scene and with the help of his intricate understanding of funky beats, he quickly established himself as the Master of Records. Taking it to the next level, he formed two rap groups Jazzy 5 and Soulsonic Force each representing up-and-coming MCs such as MC Master Ice, Mr. Freeze, Master Bee, Master D.E.E, AJ Les and Mr. Biggs, Pow Wow and Emcee G.L.O.B.E respectively.

Together with two other Bronx DJs, Grandmaster Flash and Kool DJ Herc, he began experimenting with percussive sections from different genres of music such as rock, funk and electro-pop and merging them together to produce pioneering new sounds. In collaboration with Soulsonic Force, Bambaataa released his smash-hit debut single Planet Rock in 1983 which went gold and generated an entire movement of electro-funky rap and dance music.

He continued to produce electro-funk and released tracks such as Looking for the Perfect Beat, Wildstyle and Renegades of Funk (1983) all collaborated with his group Soulsonic Force and the newly set-up Time Zone; Renegades of Funk was later re-made by Rage Against The Machine. In 1984 he went on to film the movie Beat Street with several other known hip hop artists such as emcee G.L.O.B.E and Pow Wow which received critical acclaim and helped spread the sound of hip hop.

His dream came true when in 1984 Bambaataa teamed up with James Brown to produce the well-established single Unity, known in the music industry as The Godfather of Soul Meets The Godfather of Hip Hop. Later that year Afrika Bambaataa continued his collaborations this time with punk-rocker John Lydon (singer from Sex Pistols), and Time Zone, releasing the rap-rock fused single World Destruction.

From 1986 till 1998 Afrika Bambaataa & The Family produced and released four albums such as Beware (The Funk Is Everywhere) (1986), The Light (1988), The Decade of Darkness (1991) and Universal Future Funk Vol.1 (1998) all in collaboration with known artists such as Boy George, Nona Hendryx, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Yellowman.

Afrika Bambaataa joined Stop The Violence Movement in 1989 and with other hip hop artists recorded the single Self Destruction that went gold and raised $400 000 for the National Urban League for anti-violence education programs. By 1992 he had set up his own label Planet Rock Records and began releasing Time Zone, Soulsonic Force and Jazzy 5 among others.

The rise of turntables and the blossom of electronic music in the 90s brought Afrika Bambaataa new recognition well beyond the hip hop community, and each year he brings a new batch of remixes on multiple dance and import labels while releasing updates of his signature hit Planet Rock.

He received several prominent awards for his impact in the music scene such as the Billboards Founders of Hip Hop Award in 2005, while being honoured for the VH1 Hip Hop Honours (2006) and was nominated in 2007 for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame; further collaborations remain to be released like the highly anticipated single with Roger Sanchez in Fall 2011 on Stealth Records.