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 &
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.