When the Beat Was Born

When the Beat Was Born

DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

Book - 2013
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A John Steptoe New Talent Award Winner

Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc.

On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks--the musical interludes between verses--longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born . From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.

Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781596435407
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Taylor, Theodore III- Illustrator


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JCLEdwardR Feb 05, 2019

I really liked this book. It is very informative and the art is very crisp and clean in telling the story. They made each page a little word heavy. I honestly believe they could have told the same story and edited the text down by 20-50%. I read the book to my toddler and even though I checked it out mostly for myself, she engaged with art as I read through all the text.

JCLMelissaHH Dec 05, 2018

I loved this book. I love anything that celebrates early hip hop, granted, but this is a special one. The art in this illustrated biography of DJ Kool Herc, AKA Clive Campbell, fits the cool, chunky beats the man laid down at parties in the Bronx. The story of an evolving art form and one of its pioneers is expertly told, but much more text heavy than I expected. School Library Journal is on target with its age range 3rd to 5th grade, but Publishers Weekly skewed a little young. The story is fast-paced and engrossing- I would love to have seen the text spread out across more pages with more fabulous illustrations by Coretta Scott King & Steptoe winner Taylor!

DPLjosie May 15, 2018

This is a great musical biography! And now I know where the term "break dancing" came from. I feel smarter, already.

CRRL_CraigG Jun 25, 2015

The book manages to concisely explain the earliest beginnings of hip-hop culture, including dance moves and how the movement's influence erupted. Hill also has a splendid author's note in the back explaining why Herc's music is so important to him. There's also a timeline for the evolution of hip-hop up from 1973 to 1986.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/when_the_beat_was_born_hill


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