DJ Kool Herc had the tears flowing during his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. Presented by LL COOL J, Herc was joined by his sister Cindy Campbell, marking an essential moment for Hip-Hop in its 50th year.

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Kool Herc moved to the Bronx from Kingston, Jamaica, when he was 12 years old and took on the name “Kool Herc” when he became a member of the graffiti crew, the “Ex-Vandals.” The name is short for ‘Hercules’ because of his 6′ 4″ stature. He began DJing parties that he and his sister Cindy threw in their building, which was on 1520 Sedgewick Avenue(Sedgewick & Cedar) in the South Bronx.

Herc pioneered extending the breakbeat on records by playing the same record on two turntables and cueing the “break” in the record, which he noticed had the most significant effect on the dancers at the parties. This was emulated all over the NYC area during the 1970s, thus spawning the culture of Hip Hop. He coined the terms “B-Boys” and “B-Girls” for the dancers who were “breaking,” which Herc says was street slang for “acting energetically” or “causing a disturbance.”


Kool Herc has influenced other founding pioneers of Hip Hop culture, including Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and the Sugarhill Gang. Congrats to Kool Herc on his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.