Entries in Hip-Hop (4)


Legendary Poet, Musician Gil Scott-Heron Passes Away

Anna Webber/Stringer(NEW YORK) -- Legendary composer, writer, and musician Gil Scott-Heron died on Friday at the age of 62.

Scott-Heron came to prominence with his albums "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," "Pieces of a Man," and "Winter in America" during the 1970s. He is attributed with developing the genre of hip-hop and rap, which he felt was a medium to animate the African-American community.

Scott-Heron died Friday afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City after becoming ill on tour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Diddy Tops Forbes List of Richest Hip-Hop Stars

C Flanigan/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Many people feel that Jay-Z is the greatest living rapper, but when it comes to being the highest-earning rapper, he falls a bit short.

According to Forbes' newly-published list of the top five richest hip-hop stars, Jay comes in at #2, behind Diddy.   The man whose mom knows him as Sean Combs tops the list with a fortune of 475 million bucks, thanks to income from his clothing line, his record label and his joint deal with the vodka brand Ciroc.  Meanwhile, Forbes notes that Jay has a fortune of a mere 450 million dollars.

Number three on the list is Dr. Dre, whose 125-million-dollar fortune comes thanks to his own career, plus his involvement with Snoop Dogg and Eminem.  Number four and five on the list are tied: 50 Centand Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan "Baby" Williams, aka Birdman, both of whom have fortunes of 100 million bucks.  Fiddy's spot on the list is mostly thanks to the cash he raked in when Coca Cola purchased Vitamin Water, a company in which he'd invested.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Exhibit Honors Cultural Odyssey of Hip-Hop

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- What do Grandmaster Flash, Mike Tyson, Cee-lo, Nicki Minaj, Prince, President Barack Obama, and Eminem have in common? They each represent some aspect of hip-hop culture, whether it is through politics, sports, entertainment, or music.

The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is celebrating the culture and lifestyle inspired by hip-hop music in a groundbreaking exhibit named after and based on the release of the first ever hip-hop anthology, Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey.

The project is one of the first major museum exhibitions to explore four decades of Hip-Hop music in America -- and its impact on the world. Items on display in the exhibit, which opened this week and runs through May 4, include original, handwritten song lyrics from Tupac Shakur, Grandmaster Flash's turntables, a hip-hop sneaker gallery from the private collection of recording artist Everlast, and the leather jacket and pants worn by Run-DMC during the group's "Walk This Way" Grammy performance with Aerosmith.

Born in the predominantly black South Bronx area of New York City in the 1970s, the hip-hop sound grew and developed until it quickly became the dominant cultural movement throughout urban communities in the 1980s.

Since then, hip-hop has grown beyond urban communities to become a multi-million dollar industry. Though it has often been surrounded by controversy, hip-hop is ultimately a cultural network that has brought people together from all walks of life, broken down racial barriers, and influenced fashion, language, art movies and even politics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hip-Hop Pioneer Kool Herc in Pain, No Insurance

Photo Courtesy - Johnny Nunez | WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The Internet lit up over the weekend with rumors that DJ Kool Herc, the man universally acknowledged as the founding father of hip-hop music and culture, was "very sick" and "broke."

It was revealed Monday that Herc, originally known as Clive Campbell, was not near death but suffering with the (still very real) pain of kidney stones. He lacks the medical insurance needed to cover more than $10,000 in hospital bills he has already amassed.

A spokesman for St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, where Herc had a stent inserted in October as treatment for his stones, declined to discuss the matter, citing patient privacy rules. But a spokeswoman for Herc said that when he returned to the hospital for a follow-up procedure he was asked for a prohibitively expensive deposit.

That Herc's relatively banal health issue should have evolved into a full-blown financial crisis for the hip-hop trailblazer has infuriated fans who have followed his four-decade career.

"He's a cultural icon on the level of somebody like Louis Armstrong," author and activist Jeff Chang told ABC News. "To me he's one of the most important Americans of the 20th and 21st centuries, culturally. One of the reasons you saw Kool Herc become a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend was because of that impact. Hip-hop has become the youth culture of the world."

And it all started in a downtrodden South Bronx, at parties Herc would throw with his sister Cindy, starting in 1973. Herc, a formidable figure whose nickname is short for Hercules, grew up in Jamaica. His family moved to New York in 1967, where, before long, he would have the biggest speakers in the borough. At his parties, he would pioneer the technique of juggling breakbeats -- looping short drum breaks from funk, rock and jazz songs into extended rhythmic workouts -- which in turn became the backbone of hip-hop.

Herc, 55, was resting and declined to be interviewed. But those he influenced have come out in full force this week.

"The hip-hop community does owe him," conceded Ahmir Thompson, better known as Questlove, the drummer for the rap group the Roots. "Everybody and their mother is telling me, 'You know rich rappers; make them pay for Herc!'

"The idea is nice, but there's a bigger matter at hand," he said. "The irony is not lost on me that this is happening when [House Republicans] are demanding a repeal of health care reform. Giving him money is putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. Herc won't be the only one with this problem. This is going to be an ongoing story."

For his part Chang is working with others, like DJ Premier, who discussed Herc on his Sirius radio show, to set up a website where the latest information on Herc's condition can be centralized and people can make a quick donation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio