What did you do for hip – hop?
July 1977. Asphalt in New York literally melted from the abnormal heat. Unemployment among the lower strata of the population has reached its peak. Sam's son was still walking free and shot the citizens indiscriminately in the name of Satan, aggravating the already explosive situation in the Big Apple. The catalyst for the “discharge” of all this tension was an accident in the power system that occurred on July 13. Late in the evening, a whole series of lightning strikes knocked out substations that provide electricity to the city.
As soon as the city was plunged into darkness, tens of thousands of hungry lumpen from poor neighborhoods took to the streets to "take their own." Chaos and plunder continued for the next 25 hours. All the windows of shops located near the black ghettos, were killed. They carried out everything that could be taken out - food, furniture, clothing, household appliances. One of the policemen described it like this: “It was the night of the beast. You grab four or five, a hundred came to take their place. As soon as we appeared, those who were not directly engaged in robbery,whistling warned marauders. All that was in our power is to drive them away from the store, and they immediately run to another, in the next quarter. "The result is that out of 100,000 marauders only about 4,000 were arrested, more than 1,500 stores were looted, 1077 arsons were recorded, 550 were injured the cops.
And here I will make a small digression. Hip – hop, as an independent subculture, originated in the South Bronx as early as the mid-1970s, but was completely unpopular outside the Borough. The producers of that time did not believe in the success of the new style outside the marginal environment of the New York ghettos and relied on more traditional trends.
So, among other things, costly musical equipment, which they could not even dream of, became the prey of marauders. Subsequently, the notorious DJ of Jamaican origin Kool Herc described this night: “It was like Christmas for blacks. The next day, a thousand new DJs appeared.” It is a blackout on July 13, 1977 that can rightly be considered the starting point of hip-hop climbing from the underground for lumpen to the global mainstream. You can talk about the value of this trend in world culture for as long as you like, love or hate it,but to challenge its popularity does not make sense. And do not forget that it was hip – hop that gave us the art of graffiti that we loved.
In the end, I would like to note that people who did not take to the streets to destroy and rob were also not bored - in March 1978, New York was expecting an unprecedented baby boom.