Janet Jackson v. Afrika Bambaataa
I know some of you are uncomfortable with the changes in Facebook, but I for one embrace new technology! That explains the huge technological leap forward I used to create today’s blog (If it’s too much for you, a transcript and some videos follow).
Leonel: Afrika Bambaata was a true hip-hop pioneer, he may be the person who most shaped hip-hop into what it is today.
Kayoko: Well, Janet Jackson is the true Queen of Pop, whose career success nearly equals her brother’s, and may yet surpass it.
Leonel: Afrika, or ‘Bam’ as he’s sometimes called, is also known as “Master of Records” and the “Godfather of Hip-Hop.” He, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were the 3 top DJ’s in the formative years of hip-hop in the 1970’s.
Kayoko: Janet Jackson — sometimes called Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty, was one of the most popular artists of the 80’s and 90’s. Her style changed over the years, going from innocent to sultry, mixing R & B, dance, soul, and funk. Her use of dance and performance in videos shaped MTV, made her an international pop icon and influenced every dance diva that followed.
Leonel: When hip-hop was developing in the 1970’s, Bam was there, forming Zulu Nation — the first hip-hop organization — in 1973. He didn’t create the phrase “hip-hop,” but he was the first to apply it to the emerging culture that included music by DJ’s, raps by MC’s, dancing by b-boys & b-girls and graffiti art
Kayoko: When Janet put out “Control” she went from being a family footnote to charting her own musical course by going platinum 5 times over with 6 top twenty hits.
Leonel: By the time Afrika put out his first albums in the 80’s, he was already a legendary DJ, famous for organizing block parties and breakdancing competitions in the Bronx.
Kayoko: Not for nothing, she’s sold over 40 million albums worldwide. 40 million!
Leonel: Sure, she’s had some chart success, but he helped bring hip-hop to the world with the first European hip-hop tour in 1982. Life magazine called him one of the most important americans of the 20th century. “Planet Rock” has been called “Possibly the most influential dance record of all time.”
Kayoko: Some chart success? Ten number one hits, twenty-two top 5, 26 top twenty, 33 top 100 hits. 18. consecutive! top ten! songs! Billboard credits her as being the 9th most successful act in rock history, and the second most successful female act. Why are many less popular, successful and influential acts in the hall, but not her?
Leonel: You could ask the same for Bam.