Born in the Bronx is a striking anthology of Hip Hop’s baby steps. Not only does it capture the emergence of a burgeoning culture but also the fashion and character of the surrounding community. From rare photographs of MC’s and DJs to records, flyers, and other ephemera, writer Johan Kugelberg has pulled together the scattered remains of a movement that never has its eye on posterity. The book includes the improvisational artwork of previously unpublished street flyers of the era, Polaroids buried for decades in basements across the Bronx, and testimonials from the most scholarly historians of Hip Hop culture – the legends and pioneers who lived it! Through Born in the Bronx, Joe Conzo (described by The New York Times as “the chronicler who took hip hop’s baby pictures”) presents a unique cross-section of an explosive and experimental time in music history.
– Hip Hop’s first photographer, Joe Conzo provides the majority of images of legends and urban scenes from 1977-1982. Additional photos were contributed by fellow pioneering documentarians Charlie Ahearn and Henry Chalfant.
– Photos feature The Cold Crush Brothers, Treacherous 3, Afrika Bambaataa, Busy Bee, Run DMC, Wayne “The Hip Hop Ventriliquist” & Charlie, Fantastic Romantic, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Funky Four + 1, Kool DJ AJ Scratch, GrandWizzard Theodore and more.
– Flyers created by Buddy Esquire feature Hip Hop jams from 1978-1985. Obscure flyers advertise early Hip Hop jams in Brooklyn, Queens and even Connecticut!
– Essays were contributed by legends: GrandMaster Caz, JDL, Joe Conzo, Mare 139, GrandWizzard Theodore, LA Sunshine and Jorge “Fabel” Pabon plus a poem by DJ Disco Wiz and an interview with Buddy Esquire.
– The hard cover is embossed. The dust cover unfolds to reveal a poster: “The Hip Hop Map of the Bronx” by Joe Conzo and Tony Tone.
About the Author and Contributors
Johan Kugelberg is a writer and the curator of the exhibition of Joe Conzo’s photographs Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of Rap.
Flyer King, Buddy Esquire is responsible for some of the most arresting poster designs of the era. With his sharp finesses inspired by art deco via the facades of the old Bronx movie palaces from the 1920s, Buddy Esquire truly is a master of the form.
Afrika Bambaataa is a Hip Hop DJ pioneer and one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop culture. He is the first Hip Hop activist and a co-founder of the Universal Zulu Nation. His titles include being godfather of Hip Hop as well as the father of Electro-Funk.
Jeff Chang is the bestselling author of the award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: a History of the Hip-Hop Generation. He recently released Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.