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The history of scratching in hip-hop music

[ 0 ] November 28, 2022 |

As hip-hop songs advanced, so did DJ scratching. It’s a well-known technique where you move the vinyl records back & forth on a turntable. This allows DJs to mix two or even more tracks into one smooth mix, enabling them to display their rhythmic abilities and improvisation.

The background of the scratching in hip-hop music starts with a young boy in the South Bronx of New York City. When his mother was doing household chores, he was mixing records. He kept one record while the other played. He would keep it in place by moving his hands back & forth. This young boy soon discovered he liked the rasping sound the records generated. So, he quickly started using the method in his DJ collections.

Clive Campbell (Kool Herc)

Clive Campbell and DJ scratching in hip-hop music go together. Clive was the first DJ to toss hip-hop block parties, where he played this new music genre.

An interview with the father of hip hop

He became known as a modern-day griot, as his group spread self-awareness messages to African Americans with the songs they played. His innovative techniques included mixing with two turntables, a guitar amplifier, and loud audio speakers. He used these strategies to expand the instrumental beats and MC over them.

Clive Campbell was born in Jamaica in 1955 and transferred to the Bronx at 12. His daddy was a technician for a local band, and Clive even learned some of the craft from him.

His first DJ job was at his sibling’s birthday celebration. His DJing style mimicked the Jamaican ‘selectors’, who “toasted” their tracks. Although Clive didn’t like rap or singing, his earliest events were held at recreation centers in the Bronx.

In the 1970s, Campbell immigrated to the US, where he met a team of regional DJs. Since he was heavily inclined towards bodybuilding, his classmates named him Kool Herc, short for Kool Hercules. He then changed his name to Kool Herc. He DJed his first block event in the Bronx, where he stretched brake components. He additionally collaborated with Kevin Donovan, who later became Afrika Bambaataa.

The Sugarhill Gang is commonly regarded as the originator of hip-hop. Their tune “Rappers Delight” was a development that changed the direction of popular Black music. Without Campbell, this team’s artists wouldn’t have been able to develop such a tune. This is why he is known as the original hip-hop godfather.

Grandmaster Flash

DJ scratching is a vital part of hip-hop songs and has a long background. It has always produced a smooth and regular background for break dancers and MCs to execute. The process is also known as sampled music.

Grandmaster Flash Insider Tips

Grandmaster Flash first utilized a sample of Lyn Collins’ “Think (About It)” in 1987. Ever since at least 1553 other people have sampled the song.

Grandmaster Flash and DJ scratching are two essential elements of hip-hop music. Originally from New York City, Flash pioneered the art of deejaying in the 1970s. He created several methods associated with scratching, including fusing two or even more records to create a solo track.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became one of the most famous seven successful rap acts of the 1980s, generating many hit singles and a significant event trip. His songs likewise marked the beginning of the rap music industry.

Using vinyl was very crucial at the beginning of hip-hop songs. Grandmaster Flash initially used scratching to create a continual flow of music, and then he began DJing on vinyl in 1981. One of his recordings, “Wheels of Steel,” consisted of segments from ten different songs.

After remaining in the hip-hop scene for a decade, Flash authorized a contract with the influential Elektra Records. His initial solo album, “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done,” charted in the UK for a week. After that, he launched two more albums with Elektra in 1986 and 1987. However, both albums became commercial failures.

Jazzy Joyce

Jazzy Joyce is a legendary hip-hop DJ and a pioneer in scratching. Born in the Bronx, she was engaged in the urban rap scene at a very early age. At age twelve, she identified her calling, studied the craft of DJ scratching, and became an internationally-renowned DJ.

Amazing interview with DJ Jazzy Joyce

Jazzy Joyce is among the few women to win famous DJ battles at the New Songs Workshop. She deduced her technique of “transforming” legato chops sound into Morse code-like music. This strategy is a form of deconstruction, and she specializes in this art.

In the late 1980s, hip-hop hype was simply starting to take off. Lots of musicians were releasing records and also making trips worldwide. Most of them were making the rounds on the radio. The music scene had started to prosper, and the New Music Seminar became a hub for the genre.

Today, hip-hop is a cultural and political force in the US, with DJs making several million dollars annually. They configure the music for the nation and sometimes even break selling records. In the past, DJs would play new tracks and ask their audiences to comment & rate the music.

Jazzy Joyce and DJ scratching were instrumental in advancing hip-hop music. Her songs commonly consist of examples of R&B songs. A famous example was the James Brown tune “Think (About It).”

The track got to number 5 on the Hot R&B Songs graph and stayed there for 19 weeks. It was a long-lasting hit, and its video became one of the most preferred singles of 1987.

Grand Wizard Theodore

Grand Wizard Theodore helped produce the plan for hip-hop songs via his groundbreaking scratching and cutting strategies. He later became a famous club DJ and was featured in the cult motion picture Wild Design, the first film to include hip-hop scratching. In the 1990s, he rediscovered his fame and landed worldwide DJ projects.

Grand Wizzard Theodore on the history of scratching

Grand Wizard Theodore started scratching at the young age of 12 as a park jammer. He paid attention to records playing and believed that the sound of a spinning record was interesting. This led him to start practicing scratching. Eventually, he refined his scratching technique until he felt good enough to perform it in public. Grand Wizard Theodore was a leading New York DJ in the ‘80s era.

The beginning of scratching in hip-hop songs can be traced back to DJ Grand Wizard Theodore, who created the technique at a young age. He was motivated by his brothers’ music and was positively affected by DJ Grandmaster Flash. In his teens, he mastered deejaying & scratching and soon became a prominent part of the hip-hop arena.

Evolution Of DJ Scratching

DJ scratching is a method of manual track manipulation. The very first recorded instance of scratching was the 1950s recording Sound Piece by William S. Burroughs.

In the 1990s, scratching became famous as a part of hip-hop music. It was an advanced technique for making albums and was used to create a rhythmic effect. Until then, scratching was simply a source of the noise.

The background of the DJ scratching in hip-hop songs is vibrant. It started in the Bay Area, where it was a staple of the Bay Area music field. DJs developed it to try out various strategies and concepts. Numerous DJs created strategies while high on drugs, which altered their ability to hear & think. These results, at one point, tainted hip-hop songs.

While it is hard to identify where DJ scratching comes from, the method was first introduced in hip-hop music by Grandmaster Flash in the 1980s. The same year, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” ended up being the first commercial recording made entirely using turntables.

Similarly, Malcolm McLaren and the popular World’s Famous Supreme Team made the EP D’ya Like Scratchin’? and single “Buffalo Gals.” This track was used live at the Grammy’s.

DJ scratching is a vital element of hip-hop music, and many early DJs started to explore this strategy. The technique was mainly used on vinyl records but soon expanded to CD and MP3 formats. For example, DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell) utilized two copies of the same record to create a rhythmic effect called “crescendo.”.

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About the Author ()

I’m a part-time DJ and music digger. Although my days of digging in crates have finished for my love of all things digital. That’s unless a real special vinyl pops up for my collection. In my spare time, I enjoy checking out SoundCloud, Bampcamp, and swapping funk soul hip hop, and dance ideas with other DJs. I also have a cat, so any final decision on the music comes down to her.

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