I recently had the pleasure of talking with rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa. We were on the phone a few days ago discussing the upcoming five year anniversary party for Seattle's 206 Zulu Nation chapter, which takes place February 13-15. Based on the wisdom he was dropping through the phone, I couldn't help but be reminded of how much a hip-hop maverick he once was and still is.
I can remember one of the first rap songs I ever heard in my life was "Planet Rock" from Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force. The essence of New York's burgeoning rap scene was draped all over the track, from the electro-funk auto-tune sampling to the call and response technique carried over from past generations. It was alive, and colorful, and felt like a brand new genre was jumping through the speakers. It basically made everybody around me want to dance. While a lot of people cited, "Rappers Delight" as the first song to really take hip-hop global, I think it was "Planet Rock."
Hell, the name of the song even suggests so. But it was years before I ever saw a video for the song, and once I did, I fell in love with it all over again. If you've never seen it before, check it out below.