DJ Kool Herc And His Sister, Cindy Campbell, Auctioning Over 200 Items From Birth Of Hip-Hop At Christie’s

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Almost 50 years after the birth in the Bronx of hip-hop, its creator, DJ Kool Herc, and his sister, Cindy Campbell, are auctioning over 200 items from the beginning of this music.

The auction will take place online on the website of Christie’s from August 4-18, while the items that will be auctioned will be on display in Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries in New York from August 5–12 as part of Hip-Hop Recognition Month.

On August 11, 1973, 18-year-old Clive Campbell, now known as DJ Kool Herc, and his younger sister, Cindy, threw a back to school party in the rec room of their apartment building in the Bronx, the event where hip-hop was born.

Among the over 200 items that will be auctioned are original vinyl records Herc spun in the 1970’s; the sound systems that were used at the 1973 party; period clothing and jewelry; hip-hop fliers; Polaroid photos of Herc and friends; and awards he received in recognition of his contributions to pop culture and music.

Jamaica-born Herc said, “At our parties in 1970’s New York, it was about something that was bigger than ourselves. Hip-hop is both an American immigrant story and a global story—it belongs to everybody. And we can still see and feel it today.”

His sister, Cheryl, said, “Hip-hop was created from a humble beginning in the Bronx. It has evolved into an international culture and way of life for a multitude of people, along with the genre of music. Hip-hop has broken many barriers among nationalities, classes and races. Hip-hop sees no color or gender, it radiates love.”

Peter Klarnet, Christie’s senior specialist, Americana, books and manuscripts, said, “The depth of material represented in this collection is unsurpassed. From the original speakers and technical gear, including amps, mixers and turntables, vinyl records that Herc spun at those early parties, to a wealth of early fliers and posters, we are able to see the birth of a culture that has transformed our world.”

Darius Himes, Christie’s international head of photographs, noted, “For far too long, our country has neglected to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans to the extent that is deserved. The spirit of the parties that Herc and Cindy would throw were always about inclusion—people from all races and cultures across New York’s many neighborhoods would come to hear the best new music played loudly on Herc’s famous sound system. From the depths of Planet Rock, AKA the Bronx, came a fire and energy that first captivated the five boroughs and then permeated every facet of the globe. There isn’t a country today whose youth haven’t been influenced by this movement. And it all started here, in New York City, by a talented Black American with very few resources.”

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