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Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force

A seminal Bronx DJ during the 1970s, Afrika Bambaataa ascended to godfather status with Planet Rock, the 1982 hip-hop classic which blended the beats of hip-hop with techno-pop futurism inspired by German pioneers Kraftwerk. Even before he began recording in 1980, Bambaataa was hip-hop's foremost DJ, an organizer and promoter of the large block parties during the mid- to late '70s which presaged the rise of rap. After the success of Planet Rock, he recorded electro-oriented rap only sparingly, concentrating instead on fusion -- exemplified by his singles with ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon and fellow godfather James Brown. Bambaataa had moved to the background by the late '80s (as far as hip-hop was concerned), but the rise of his Zulu Nation collective -- including De La Soul, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Jungle Brothers -- found him once more being tipped as one of rap's founding fathers.

Born in the Bronx on April 17, 1957, Afrika Bambaataa Aasim took his name from a 19th century Zulu chief. Beginning in 1977, Bambaataa began organizing block parties and breakdancing competitions around the Bronx. His excellent turntable techniques and knowledge of music led many to proclaim him the best DJ in the business (though Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc were more innovative), and his record debut -- as a producer -- came in 1980 with Soul Sonic Force's "Zulu Nation Throwdown." The single was a rallying cry for the Zulu Nation, a group of like-minded Afrocentric musicians that only gained fame in the late '80s but had been influencing the rise of hip-hop crews since the late '70s.

Aside from more production credits on several later singles during 1980-1981, Afrika Bambaataa didn't become an actual recording artist until 1982. He signed with Tommy Boy records and released his first single, "Jazzy Sensation," early that year. "Planet Rock" followed in June and quickly exploded. Recorded with the help of producer/dancefloor authority Arthur Baker and assimilating the melody of Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express," the single hit number four on the R&B charts (but missed the pop Top 40) and joined the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" as one of the early classics of hip-hop. (Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" followed just three months later.) In the single's wake came dozens of electro groups and recordings, though none touched the quality of "Planet Rock" -- except, perhaps, Bambaataa's own follow-up, "Looking for the Perfect Beat." Out of those electro groups came several predominant dance styles of the 1980s and '90s: Detroit techno, Miami bass, and, to a more limited extent, Chicago house.

Freed somewhat by his new-found popularity, Afrika Bambaataa began branching out in 1984, recording "Unity" with help from James Brown and "World Destruction" with John Lydon (as Time Zone). That same year, Bambaataa delivered an album debut of sorts, Shango Funk Theology, recorded as Shango with Material personnel Bill Laswell and Michael Beinhorn. A virtually LP-length single titled "Funk You!" appeared in 1985, after which Bambaataa recorded his proper album debut, Beware (The Funk Is Everywhere). He left Tommy Boy in 1986 after an album compilation of "Planet Rock" mixes, and signed with Capitol. The first album release for the label was 1988's The Light, recorded as Afrika Bambaataa & the Family, which included contributions from George Clinton, UB40, Bootsy Collins, and Boy George. Three years later, Bambaataa's third album, 1990-2000: Decade of Darkness, was released on Capitol, coinciding with his career retrospective Time Zone, released on his own Planet Rock Records. Bambaataa recorded erratically during the '90s, but returned to the mainstream in 1997 with Zulu Groove. The new millennium brought the release of Hydraulic Funk on Strictly Hype, and Electro Funk Breakdown followed in early 2001. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Soulsonic force was the s**t back in the day. If u no abt skating u no soul sonic force. Lalor street skating ring was the s**t. Trento n.j. I love. U n miss all my peoples. Spaceman smar was it back then with the block parties on Jackson n mercer streets n south Trenton. Who all remember that . Yo peace.life time of memories. Rwl. Still awake. Peace to my son jontte daughters coco n pluck n temeisha n their moms especially their moms. One
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Truth !
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Yeah! Just get on down- socialized - this was the basement cut back in the 80's. Rock rock planet rock. It's the big pow wow. Rock, rock planet rock don't stop! Mother earth is our planet rock. Mr. Big ��soul sonic force. My djj days. Love like this��! Can someone please bring real hip hop and rap. Planet rock - twist and turn. So hit me. ROCK'IN don't stop! Wow thanks
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Freak fest with this Jam
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U.N.L.V Small Business Development Center Grad 2010*
Mr.Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; Nevada Professional Jet`Ski Rental inc.™ Year2009* CEO of; Shandozia Entertainmen t Service®Year 2 0 0 4 * Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil.1987* at S.T.M.B.Chur c h Pittsburg Ca. {Owner of Nuloos inc.™} ((Paperwork Discrepancy? ) ) ~WNBA, NBA, NFL, NHL~ Universal Studios Hollywood© The Monica & Bronshae Show® & Promos! Year2000* 103.5 The Bomb™ Year2000* K.M.E.L SF© Year1988* The Kid Chris Show® Sacramento Year2001
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This groove keeps me moving!! Love it!
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Everytime I here the "break" (3:54) and (5:53) part of the song I want to front flip (Suicide) into a windmill-bac k spin freeze!
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ricros1017
Just turned 50 and it really does bring back memories
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I'm old school new will never mess with back in the day music.
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saintism_7
If you breakdance back in the day. This was a must. Best jam ever!!!
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I remember my older sister and brother jamming this and going to see DJ Dr. Boogie...lol
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corey818ande r s o n 3
This is the jam I remember this as a kid
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Dope a** blast from the past!!
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Nice músic.......
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This was tha s**t back then
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bmrspicy3
All I can say is....."ICON ' S " .
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I love that music
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ZULU
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You are one within the soul force
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I feel breaking right now
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CLASSIC
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Bam bit heavily off Kraftwerk















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JUST AN ABSOLUTE JAM FROM MY YOUTH!!
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no matter what kind of day your having This jam puts a smile on your face
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Old Skool Rulez west side 10th street merced califas
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This
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loudogg0417
The old school will always beat the new school anyday because how fresh this was when it came out and it holds its own today. The crap today is just so annoying!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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loudogg0417
the old school will beat the new school because of how innovative and fresh this was in the day. The s**t out today is just annoying!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Reminds me of block parties
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Nba2k7 had this song
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This jam brings chills to my spine.....th e memory of seeing my big brother get that card board out and battle with his friends..... R I P bam bam....lov your Sis
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That's the daze of good music
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True hip hop that is the foundation today new school must respect this OG Game
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dominick1962
Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force, is also Mellie Mell and Furious Five.
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dominick1962
When this came out, my girlfriend at the time hated it because she was still living in the disco days and couldn't warm up to this new sound. Ahh, what the hell did she know anyway. Lol
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middle school dance
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Brings back memories growing up in NYC back in the day
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iquancamell
No doubt!this bring back memories of true fun and artistic expression.. i n all ways...I was a little shorty when I first went to 42nd st and bust out breaking and poppin...Yo I killed it I was around 9yo when I came out the crowd went crazy
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oh wow, yep those days at the skating rink
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skating rink
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Love this song!!!! At the skating ring truckin
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Break dancing at the mall....lmao
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Everytime I hear this I see my brother on the floor break dancing or dee jaying the hottest parties in town! Rip in peace
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I remember before this song could start playing the dance floor would be standing room only. Soon as it say,Party People
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This is real music and this is where hip hop started !!!! I love it for life ... DiamondJamm
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leandrropena
Bringing out the cardboard box....
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alexander183
MAN THIS WAS S H I T BACK IN MY DAY. BRINGS BACK SO MANY MEMORIES.IT' L L NEVER BE LIKE THAT EVER .....IN MY OPINION. KEEP IT REAL PEACE.
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Thiz iz the beginning and now there's know ending.
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Elmendorf Air Force Base,Alaska. W e jammed at the NCO Club all night!!!!
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Egyptian lover ! The man!
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