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Bambaata, Afrika

Entry updated 7 August 2023. Tagged: Music, People.

(1957-    ). US musician and performer, sometimes credited with inventing "rap" as a musical style. Bambaata's first single "Planet Rock" (1982) sampled "Trans-Europe Express" by Kraftwerk and added Bambaata's vocals. Blending the designedly machinic, bloodless, north-European musical style with an impassioned African-American content, though perhaps a counter-intuitive step, was a brilliant move, and proved enormously influential on the subsequent development of hip hop. Bambaata went on to record many albums, some of them with strong sf content: he shares with George Clinton, with whom he has collaborated, a fascination for Spaceships and UFOs, and an interest in the collocation of Ancient Egypt and outer space. The lyrics of Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light (2004) make many genre references, and one song features Gary Numan. [AR]

Afrika Bambaata Aasim

born New York: 17 April 1957


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