Hip Hop music has been with us for more than 20 years now. Hip hop owes its beginnings to a particular place and a particular time. The Place was the South Bronx and the time was the 1970’s. The South Bronx was a notorious borough of New York City, marked by some of the worst levels of unemployment, dereliction and violent crime in America. While life in the City became tougher, mainstream black music in the 70’s had softened into the ultimate form of crossover pop, Disco. The generation growing up in the Bronx in the 70’s found that music like Disco was wildly out of step with the reality of their lives. Hip Hop reacted against Disco. Hip Hop’s genesis could be traced to this inconspicuous housing project on the edge of the South Bronx. Here Hip Hop’s founding father DJ Kool Herc built his first sound system in 1971. Herc was one of the first DJ’s in the Bronx to borrow a technique from Manhattan’s downtown disco tech. The use of two turntables. This meant DJ’s could play music without interruption mixing from the end of one record straight into the beginning of another. He specialized in the kind of hard funk music others ignored. What singled out Herc as a DJ was his keen eye for crowd reactions. He noticed that the energy on the dance floor, its peak during the instrumental breaks in the records, the point where the singing stops and the music carries on. From this simple observation Herc came up with an idea that would become the basis of Hip Hop. Herc’s merry go round meant that instead of playing whole records he would play just the instrumental breaks mixing between them to create a continuous dance rhythm. The instrumental breaks on the records became known as the break beats and Hercs merry go round formula of mixing between them provided the blueprint for a new music. A new dance attached itself to the music he created called B boying or break dancing. Then, when Afrika Bambaataa became a rival DJ, he unleashed a new energy into hip hop. It was an energy that tapped into a frightening force which dominated Bronx’s life in the 70’s and its street gangs. Bambaataa’s personal conversion from gang leader to hip hop DJ set a trend that swept the Bronx. Kids who were previously joining gangs began channeling their energy into Hip Hop literally taking to the streets with speakers and turn tables. Over the next decade Hip Hop would grow to dominate the pop charts but it would also become the most notorious and controversial music in America.