DJ Kool Herc

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    LL Cool J
  • Category:
    Early Influences
DJ Kool Herc's gold signature.

DJ Kool Herc is one of hip-hop’s founding fathers; his innovation and experimentation created the blueprint for hip-hop and set the stage for future artists and DJs to build upon. Herc was instrumental in developing the culture and community of hip hop and helping to make a space for young people to express themselves creatively through music and dance.



Michael A. Gonzales

On August 11, 1973, fifty years ago this year, 16-year-old Jamaican immigrant Clive Campbell changed the sound of music forever. In a Bronx recreation room inside an unassuming apartment building located at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, young Campbell, better known today as DJ Kool Herc, ignited the musical elements of hip-hop culture at his little sister Cindy’s “back to school jam.” The young DJ, the eldest of six kids, had previously spun discs with his dad at various adult parties, but after school he was testing and refining new techniques that he’d soon unveil.

2023 Induction Ceremony Program Cover Art
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