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The music of New York

Hip-Hop Pioneer DJ Kool Herc “Very Sick,” Can’t Pay Med Bills

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One of the founding fathers of hip-hop, DJ Kool Herc, is in a bind, the Guardian reported this morning: The originator of the breakbeat is suffering from an “undisclosed condition” and, without health insurance, can’t afford to pay for surgery.

The 55-year-old Herc—whose early ’70s DJ technique of creating musical patterns by plucking and sequencing the breakbeats from old-school funk and soul is one of the seminal moments of hip-hop as we know it, inspiring the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash—was released from hospital on Sunday, and now faces a mountain of bills he can’t afford to pay. 

From the Guardian's music blog:

"[He] who we call the father of hip-hop, Kool Herc, is not doing well," DJ Premier revealed on his Sirius XM radio show this weekend. "Since he's very sick and has no insurance ... [he] needs to pay his bills so he can get out of hospital." […]

"We spoke today, and he needs some help to pay his bills for the hospital because he can't hold it down," Premier said. "And being that he is the man who set this whole culture off, ya'll should be wanting to do it any type of way that you can." Friends have provided an address for donations to the DJ, and while Kool Herc was released from hospital on Sunday, according to DJ Tony Touch, he is "still in dire need of financial aid".

In a post on his website, DJ Premier described Herc as “very sick.”

On XXL magazine’s News blog, an early post makes mention of DJ Tony Touch organizing a fundraiser for Herc Tuesday February 1 at the East Village’s Sutra Lounge, but no details as yet.

In the meantime, donations can be made to Kool Herc Production PO Box 20472 Huntington Station, NY 11746.

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