David Corio

Afrika Bambaataa

Celluloid Records, London ,UK,1983

After the first successful UK hip hop tour of 1982, Afrika Bambaataa returned to London to promote hip hop acts Shango and Time Zone who had signed with the US/French label Celluloid. With Bill Laswell producing various acts the label was at the cutting edge, introducing a vast range of talent from Fela Kuti to James Chance to a wider audience. Their hip hop acts did not produce massive hits but they broadened the appeal of hip hop to the European audiences.

A gentle giant, Bam was an early pioneer in the hip hop movement and was recognised as one of the "Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life Magazine in 1990. Although he has not personally recorded much of his own music, he has been highly instrumental in advancing the careers of many others from Grandmixer DST and Fab Five Freddie. He developed the musical influence of hip hop by sampling electronic sounds from Germany’s Kraftwerk to collaborating with James Brown and John Lydon. He remains active – still looking for the perfect beat.

Afrika Bambaataa