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          2024 WHHA PIONEER AWARD Recipients 

Chosen for their historic contributions to Hip Hop music and culture, 

* more to be announced 





 JAMES BROWN - The King Of Soul & Hip Hop

“JAMES BROWN is a concept, a vibration, a dance,... It’s not me, the man.

JAMES BROWN is a FREEDOM I created for humanity.”


By the time he was in his 30s, James Brown was more than a dominant musical voice: he was an outstanding African-American personality and outspoken activist of his people, period. Important enough to be drawn into the murky waters of national politics as an inspiration and role model, he was also feared and sometimes ridiculed. But he would not be denied. Nearly stillborn, then revived by an aunt in a country shack in the piney woods outside Barnwell, South Carolina, on May 3, 1933, Brown was determined to be Somebody.


He called his group “Famous” before they had a right to; called himself “Mr. Dynamite” before his first Pop hit; and proclaimed himself “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” before the music business knew his name. His was a fantasy, a sweet dream. But James Brown had singular talent, and the vision to hire the baddest. In his own time, he became “Soul Brother Number ONE,” a larger-than-life Godfather of Soul. I don't think


There's any way to reduce the importance of James Brown's music to hip-hop to 25 examples because without James Brown there is no hip-hop (not to mention any other form of modern club or dance related music). And that applies whether you're talking hip-hop constructed via samples, or played by keyboard or band, or built from (turntable) scratch. That said,  James Brown - will always and forever be the KING..








DJ Kool Herc was the earliest major figure to emerge from the mid-70's Bronx, New York music scene that would eventually come to be known as Hip-Hop. Born Clive Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica, Herc immigrated to New York City and was exposed at an early age to both American and Jamaican musical traditions. Influenced by soul, rock, funk, reggae and dancehall, DJ Kool Herc staged parties that spawned a global youth culture, rooted in the African American experience. As a teenager, Campbell borrowed his father's massive sound system to throw block parties that brought together his west Bronx community, often until dawn. DJ Kool Herc didn't invent hip-hop's musical aesthetic as much as he unearthed it, buried in the drum breaks of soul and funk records. Realizing that dancers became most energized during the parts of songs where the sole instrumentation was percussion, Herc used two copies of the same record to endlessly loop a beat, driving the dance-floor crazy.


During performances, to further excite the crowd, Herc’s crew of hype-men, in the style of Jamaican dancehall toasting, would recite rhymes over the microphone, pioneering the art of rapping. These innovations would gain Herc notoriety across the five boroughs, leading him to club performances around the city for a wide spectrum of audiences.  Campbell's DJ style was quickly taken up by young dancers. He called his dancers "break-boys" and "break-girls",  Campbell's announcements and exhortations to dancers helped lead to the syncopated, rhymed spoken accompaniment now known as breakbeat DJs, Campbell used two copies of the same record to elongate the break. The innovator and creator of the Hip Hop culture - DJ Kool Herc stands as the originator, without whom an entire WORLDWIDE generation would lack a soundtrack. 





           LAWRENCE  "KRS-ONE'' PARKER  

               ''RAP is what you DO but HIP HOP is how you LIVE''


Appearing on the rap scene in 1986 as Boogie Down Productions releasing his first hit single “South Bronx” with his late DJ Scott La Rock, KRS “the one” made it clear that Hip Hop was going to have to take itself a lot more seriously than simply being a music genre. KRS, an acronym for ““Knowledge Reigning Supreme”, has been called the “conscience of Hip Hop” (Rolling Stone), “the greatest live emcee ever” (The Source), the “spokesperson for Hip Hop” (Wall Street Journal), “master teacher” (Zulu Nation) and the “son of Hip Hop” (Kool DJ Herc). With 20 published albums to his credit and his numerous appearances with other artists, KRS-One is believed to have written the most rhymes in Hip Hop’s history. In the 1990s as “hip-hop” grew more and more commercialized and corporate, it was KRS-One that openly rejected such cultural exploitation and materialism grounding Hip Hop in its original principles of peace, love, unity and safely having fun. Teaching everything from self-creation to stopping violence; from vegetarianism to transcendental meditation, from the establishment of Hip Hop Appreciation Week (every third week in May), to establishing Hip Hop as an international culture at the United Nations (2001), KRS-One has single-handedly held the history and original arts of Hip Hop together now for over two decades. 

In addition to lecturing at over 500 universities in the United States and publishing a few        ground-breaking books; “The Science of Rap”, “Ruminations”, the Gospel of Hip Hop, and his latest book, Real Niggaz.  KRS-One has also established the Stop The Violence Movement, influenced the creation of the “West-Coast All-Stars’ anti-gang anthem “We’re All In The Same Gang'', warned the Hip Hop community against giving up their humanity for technological advancement (H. E. A. L.—Human Education Against Lies-1991), and has established the Temple of Hip Hop for the spiritual exploration of Hip Hop’s culture (1996). It was KRS-One who first argued that “rap is something we do; but Hip Hop is something we live” and introduced the “I am Hip Hop” philosophy in 1994 which Black Entertainment Television uses as the title of their Hip Hop Lifetime Achievement Award today. Without question, KRS-One has been the loudest voice for the actual preservation and expansion of original Hip Hop worldwide. 




                     ZULU NATION     


Originally known simply as the Organization, it arose in the 1970s from the reformed New York City gang the Black Spades, a street gang from the South Bronx. While the Black Spades were the base of the organization, other reformed gangs contributed additional members, notably the Savage NomadsSeven Immortals, and Savage Skulls, among others. Members began to organize cultural events for youths, combining local dance and music movements into what would become known as the various elements of hip hop culture. Elements of the culture include Emceeing (MCing), Deejaying (DJing), breaking, and writing.


Afrika Bambaataa, founder of the Zulu Nation and the man who many say single - handedly made Hip Hop a world-wide culture, in many interviews has spoken of the name "Zulu" as being inspired by the 1964 film of the same nameThe imagery of the Zulu Nation has varied at times as well. During the 1970s, and 1980s, Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation members would often clothe themselves in costumes representing different cultures of the world and different factions of the Nation throughout the world may utilize different cultural symbols and themes to express basic Zulu philosophy. Since the early 1980s, the Zulu Nation has since established (autonomous) branches in JapanFrance, the UKAustraliaCanadaSouth Korea and the Cape Flats in Cape Town South Africa.

From the late 1980s, at the height of the Afrocentric movement in hip-hop (when artists such as KRS-OnePublic EnemyA Tribe Called QuestNative Tongues, and Rakim hit success), the movement seemed to be incorporating many doctrines from the Nation of Islam, the Nation of Gods and Earths, and the NuwaubiansHip Hop Culture was born because of many like Kool Dj Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Soulsonic Force, Grandmaster CazDj Breakout and Baron, Disco King Mario, Kool Dj Dee, The Funky Four, Cold Crush Brothers, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmixer DST, Whiz KidMercedes Ladies, Mean Gene, The L Brothers, Kool Dj AJ,The Furious 5 MCs,The Lovebug Starski,  Tex DJ Hollywood, and the list goes on. Hip Hop Culture and The Universal Zulu Nation go hand in hand as being the First family of Hip Hop Culture and the ones who called all the Elements of Hip Hop (Elements). Calling women Queens and Men Kings.


The Universal Zulu Nation for 40 years was just a International Hip Hop World Movement but knowing the power that it had in being a World Nation within other Nations throughout the Earth with many Ideology within the Universal Zulu Nation Afrika Bambaataa has now added the nation as a Nation within many Nations on Earth with Infinity Lessons, Laws and a Constitution of their own as well as Their Banner, Their Flag and their Great Seal. An autochthonous government for all on Earth and Beyond in our Universe. This is in short a small view of The Universal Zulu Nation foundation.

                                             THE UNIVERSAL 

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