The Cultural Connection Between Reggae, Hip-Hop and Afrika Bambaataa

AfrikaBambaataa

It’s nearly impossible to point at one musician and say they started a genre, but if there were no Afrika Bambaataa, it’s safe to say there would be no such thing as hip-hop. From his early days of DJing/throwing parties in South Bronx to his mega-smash “Planet Rock,” Bambaataa has been a positive cultural touchstone for 40 years.

The House of Marley is excited to be taking part in Afrika’s 40th anniversary weekend, which includes a number of shows happening in New York City from November 6 through November 10. With a heavy hitting lineup that features live performances from hip-hop all stars including Ultramagnetic MCs, Ice T, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and more, this weekend is sure to be a killer time.

As Afrika has often said, the connection between reggae and hip-hop is one that runs extremely deep. The proof is in the music, as our namesake Bob Marley has been sampled by dozens of hip-hop artists throughout the years. In preparation of Afrika Bambaataa’ 40th anniversary party in New York, we’re taking a look at some of the best Bob Marley samples throughout the history of rap. Pop on some headphones and lose yourself in some of the best music of the past few decades.

Jungle Brothers “Doin’ Our Own Dang”

Naming himself after Afrika Bambaataa, the Jungle Brothers’ Baby Bam also makes a reference to Bob Marley with a sample of “Jammin'” on the group’s track “Doin’ Our Own Dang.” Bam will be DJing as a part of the festivities for November 6 and he is sure to break out more of the sick reggae records that inspired him.

Kardinal Offishall “Naughty Dread”

Taking the name of his track straight from the Bob Marley song he samples, Kardinal Offishall’s “Naughty Dread” is a laid back lesson in flow. Still rapping a decade after he first hit the hip-hop scene, Kardinal continues with his socially conscious efforts and has been working hard for charities in Haiti.

The Game w/ Swizz Beatz and Jay Electronica “Higher”

On The Game’s debut record, Dr. Dre utilized Bob Marley’s “Iron Lion Zion” as the propelling beat of the track “Higher.” Starting off with the classic chant from 1974 recording, the song quickly kicks into overdrive with a flourish of drums and sirens.

Public Enemy “Fight The Power”

“Fight The Power” is the ultimate hip-hop sound collage, as it pastes together some of the most commonly used samples in a way that has never been done again since. While at times it’s hard to hear Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” in the song, it’s apparent Public Enemy’s social conscious music is deeply indebted to the reggae singer. Check out Public Enemy when they perform on November 8, at the National Black Theatre as a part of the Afrika Bambaataa birthday celebration.

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