Afrika Bambaataa – New York State of Mind (Vol. 1)

New York City is the birthplace of Hip-Hop. Key artists, personalities and phenomenons walk its streets on the daily. The Five Boroughs and then some live and breathe Hip-Hop. Its a birthright. 

The art form originated in The Bronx back in 1973 and is credited to Jamaican ex-pat Kool Herc. He set up a sound system and mixed Funk with Latin percussion together into extended breaks, while hyping up the crowd on the mic.  Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa soon joined in with their own twists and turns and Hip-Hop was born. 

Afrika Bambaata was instrumental in the creation of electro funk and resulting monumental changes in the music industry by producing groundbreaking classics Planet Rock and Looking For The Perfect Beat with the Soulsonic Force. He formed the socially aware outer-world centric Universal Zulu Nation on the strength of the African American street gang, Black Spades, and was the first to claim and portray the art form as a culture. 

This 1995 interview was conducted in Toronto. Afrika Bambaataa was preparing for the release of his new funk and Hip-Hop album on Profile, Africa Bambaataa Presents Time Zone: Warlocks and Witches, Computer Chips, Microchips and You.

He speaks on the Zulu Nation, other worlds, conspiracy theories, the state of Hip-Hop and its inherent adaptability.

“There’s a lot of things that the brothers and sisters they just talk. They need to stop talking and listen sometime and start knowing what’s going on. There’s some people that take an I don’t give a fuck attitude but don’t know that there’s people behind there that’s ready to take you if you don’t have your social security, your income tax right. Just waiting for the chance to come and snatch you, if you making all these big records and everything. You got to watch yourself. They’re not playing around.”