Monday, September 16, 2013

When the Beat Was Born

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop
Written by Laban Carrick Hill
Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III
Roaring Book Press, 2013. Unpaged picture book biography.

DJ Kool Herc was born Clive Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica. As a child, he was in awe of a disc jockey named King George. King George owned more records than little Clive had ever seen, and made beats and mixes that kept the neighborhood dancing. When Clive was a teenager, his family moved to the Bronx, NY, where he was surrounded by all the latest music. He was soon the hottest DJ in the neighborhood, and one of the first pioneers in the hip hop music world. He adopted the name "DJ Kool Herc" because he was called Hercules due to his giant size and added the Kool because it sounded right! This biography has fantastic art, full of character. DJ Kool Herc is seriously cool, and proof that you can live your dream. Check out the author's note for more about the history of hip hop and a timeline of the genre.

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