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Imagine the musical landscape without hip-hop.

Imagine going to a club or party and not hearing the beat drop or DJ do his thing.

Doesn’t sound like much fun at all.

Thinking about the influence of hip-hop on so many facets of life, how can the hip hop community do its part to help one of its ailing pioneers in a time of extreme crisis? Better yet, what is the hip-hop community doing to help the legendary DJ Kool Herc?

According to DJ Premier, the uninsured rap icon fell ill with kidney stones and with his condition deteriorating he was in desperate need of financial support to pay for mounting medical expenses after surgery to remove the stones went well.

Chang wrote the hip-hop history book, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop which featured an introduction written by Kool Herc and upon hearing about his condition set out to raise funds virally.

Creating a website,, Chang spread the word and watched it light up the blogosphere in hopes of donations rolling in to the PayPal account.

On the site, Chang pleaded, “he has given so much to make our lives better. Let us do the same for him.”

Herc isn’t taking his condition laying down either.

Determined to use his fame to call attention to millions of other uninsured Americans, Herc said on his site, “Now we are fighting for health care not just for me, but for everyone. I see this as another quest for me to shine light on a sensitive issue for the community.”

Blazing a new trail much like he did when he created hip-hop at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.

Herc’s fight also deals with coming of age before the financial dividends of hip-hop we’ve become accustomed to even existed. Whether it was busting open light poles to make the party in the park happen or inventing the break beat, his mark is indelible; it just didn’t pay as well as crankin’ anything does today. The real question is can hip-hop show that its hustle and lavishness can also be put towards something other than jewelry and cars.

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