Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Father Afrika commands large-scale musical hypnosis 

Wednesday, Jun 11 2008

If you want to understand just how vital Afrika Bambaataa was to hip-hop's early development, it's still best to listen to "Planet Rock." Besides its all-encompassing vision of a world united by music — elevating the feel-good vibe of South Bronx street parties to a global scale — the groundbreaking 1982 single paired the budding genre's familiar funk breaks with the icy minimalism of Kraftwerk. "Planet Rock" openly borrowed from the German pioneers, using synthesized repetition to achieve the cosmic harmony Bambaataa had in mind. Hip-hop may have been seriously co-opted in the decades since, and these days the influential founder of Zulu Nation is best known as a slick electro DJ, but his knack for large-scale musical hypnosis still demands respect.

About The Author

Doug Wallen


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Slipknot at Concord Pavillion
    Slipknot, and Lamb of God performed at the Concord Pavillion on Wednesday, August 26, as part of the Summer's Last Stand Tour. Photographs by Richard Haick.
  • Eat Drink SF
    Photographs by Michael Hendrickson.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed