By 1977, hip-hop had begun to circulate
throughout New York City. Djs such as Afrika Bambaataa, Disco
King Mario, Dj Breakout, Dj Casanova Fly & Dj Disco Wiz
and Grandmaster Flash performed regularly around town. As
1977 turned to 1978, though, the number of people involved
in hip-hop shot up dramatically. More rappers began to appear,
and the attention began to shift - as MCs began to take center
stage, Djs began to move out the spotlight.
The Brothers Disco
The Brothers Disco and Sisters Disco, a large group of Djs,
MCs and security personnel that included artists such as Jazzy
D, Dj Barton, Dj Breakout, the Funky Four Plus One and others,
were highly visible in the early New York scene. This handbill
advertises and upcoming performance at a show in Bronx. Also
on the bill was the already-legendary Afrika Bambaataa.
Djs Casanova Fly & Disco Wiz
Created by Dj Casanova Fly (later to be known as Grandmaster
Caz), this poster promotes a 1978 show at the Webster P.A.L
(Police Athletic League) in the Bronx. Dj Casanova Fly and
his partner Dj Disco Wiz performed frequently throughout the
mid-1970s. Dj Disco Wiz is credited with being the first Latino
Dj. While Latinos were certainly a huge part of the then-growing
hip-hop culture, most bad been graffiti artists or b-boys.
A self-described beat junkie, Wiz was a battle-style Dj who
would cater to his cult following of b-boys. Dj Casanova Fly,
on the other hand, looked to entertain the crowd with unusual
music selections and specials effects.
Do the Freak
This 1978 handbill states that "When You Dance To The
Rhythm Of The Beat, Everybody Do The Freak". It advertises
a performance at the Bronx's J.H.S. 123 by headliner (and
longstanding Bronx Dj) Disco King Mario and CC Crew, a Dj
battle featuring Cool Dj Nicky Dee, Dj Ronie Ron & Dj
Desie, The Voice of Dj Starsky, Dj Joey Dee & Dj Danny,
as well as Dj C.D. La Rock & Dj Islam.
The Furious Four
This 1978 poster advertises a show at Mitchell Gym, an event
that featured quite a number of MCs. Among them were Lovebug
Starski (a Dj who was among the first to rap over his won
records) and MC Kenny Gee, as well as Grandmaster Flash's
crew. While it had become common for a performing Dj to have
an MC or two on stage, by 1978 (as this poster points out),
Grandmaster Flash had four. The Furious Four were soon destined
to become The Furious Five, a posse of MC's who - with their
choreographed moves, flashly clothes and catchy rhymes - went
on to take the role of the MC to a whole new level.