Important Follow Story About Bay Area Rapper Saafir & His Health Challenges

Since we ran that story from Shock G about Saafir and his health challenges there has been massive response from all over world. It was one hardly anyone anticipated…Its been much appreciated..Many folks had lots of questions, concerns .. Many had lots of advice and wanted to help..  Below is the first of two stories that are important  follow ups courtesy of  Bay Area scribe Garrett Caples of the SF Bay Guardian. He reached out and did two stories.. One is called  ‘Injured Player in the Game’ the other is called Reality Rap which is an exclusive Q&A which you can access here… Big salute to Garret for rocking this..-Davey D-

Injured Player in the Game

Saafir Photo: Garret Caples

Saafir  Photo: Garret Caples

MUSIC “I have a new respect for people with disabilities,” Bay Area legend Saafir, the Saucee Nomad says, sitting in his wheelchair in the East Oakland living room where he’s temporarily crashing. “I was aware of their plight, but I never imagined how much strength it took mentally to deal with every day, day to day. It’s a cold strength.”

The extent of Saafir’s disability, revealed last month by Digital Underground leader Shock-G on Davey-D’s Hip Hop Corner blog, took the rap world by surprise. I’d heard Saafir was in rough shape, following a 2005 operation to remove a cancerous tumor from his spine, though the release of his unexpectedly religious album Good Game (ABB, ’06) seemed to signify a recovery. Yet a numbness that began in his toes in ’08 gradually crept up his legs to where he can no longer walk or even stand. His inability to work coupled with his medical expenses has wiped him out financially.

Tweeted by Questlove to his two million Twitter followers, Shock’s account went mini-viral over social media and hip-hop blogs. Wanting to interview Saafir, I called Shock, who gave his number but warned, “He’s a little heated ’cause I didn’t clear that story with him and I got some details wrong. But he wouldna let me post it. He’s a soldier.” And it takes some convincing before Saafir grudgingly agrees to an interview, though by the time we meet, his anger at the unwanted attention has largely dissipated into relief and acceptance. He’s allowed Chris Clay, a protégé of Shock’s who’s also a web designer, to set up a site,, where fans can make Paypal donations. He’s even plugged the site in a phone interview on Sway and King Tech’s Wake Up Show (Shady 45 radio).

That the Wake Up Show was the first national music media to reach out to Saafir is unsurprising; the epic battle between Saafir of Hobo Junction and Casual of Hieroglyphics that the show hosted in 1994 when it was on KMEL was arguably step one in a series that leads to Sway interviewing Obama. A high-water mark of Bay Area rap history, Hobo v. Hiero occurred the same year Saafir released his debut, Boxcar Sessions, on Quincy Jones’s Warner imprint, Qwest. Saafir scored the $250,000 deal on the strength of his performances on Digital Underground’s Body-Hat Syndrome (TommyBoy, 1993) and in the film Menace II Society (1993), but even those didn’t quite prepare the world for his surrealistic syntax stretching on Boxcar or the tripped out beats of Hobo producers JZ and J.Groove.

While it became an enduring underground classic, Boxcar dropped at a time when the golden age was giving way to the bland consumer-speak that still dominates rap. After another album, The Hit List (1999), Saafir left Warner only to sign with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath as a member of Golden State Warriors, a supergroup with Xzibit and Ras Kass. But the project ultimately didn’t yield an album.

“We didn’t get held up by Aftermath; we had internal issues,” Saafir says. “We did a lot of high-profile records but we could never push past that level.” Following the group’s demise and his cancer operation, Saafir had just relaunched as an independent artist when he began to experience the first symptoms leading to his present condition.

The whole persona of a rapper is about being extraordinary, but in many ways Saafir’s current situation is typically American, Obamacare notwithstanding. Like any rapper who signs to a major in his 20s, he bought “some dumb shit” with his Warner money and has regrets, but he always set aside money from his deals; he has kids he’s putting through high school, among other expenses. But even with some insurance, he’s lost everything, and it’s impossible for him to make money the way a rapper does— always hopping flights to the next show — when it takes him two hours to get dressed.

After last year’s failed quest for laser surgery, described in Shock’s post, Saafir’s again working with his original doctor to determine the cause of his loss of leg function. If it can be restored, he estimates he’s looking at over $80,000 of uncovered expenses for surgery and rehab. If it can’t, he needs to get himself into an accessible assisted living situation, because couchsurfing in his condition is untenable.

But wheelchair or no, Saafir plans to continue rap.

“I’m a boss but I’m an injured player in the game,” he says. “I’m a very strong injured player in the game and I can still make plays from my position.”

Below is a link to an exclusive Q&A with Saafir via Garret Caples of the SF Bay Guardian…

Kevin Powell: Kool Herc, Hip Hop and Healthcare

WRITER’S NOTE: Please visit this site right away to learn more about Kool Herc and how you can support him during his time of medical challenges:

Click HERE to listen to our Hard Knock Radio interview w/ Kevin Powell

I can’t even remember the first instance I heard the name “Kool Herc,” but I am fairly certain it was during the mid to late 1980s. Ronald Reagan was president, Jesse Jackson was, well, different, a new jack filmmaker named Spike Lee was stirring the pot called Hollywood, and I was a young and avid “hiphop head.”

Ever since I digested the boom-bap strands of hiphop in the late 1970s in my native Jersey City, New Jersey (my hometown’s local hiphop heroes was a crew called Sweet, Slick, and Sly) I was hooked. The Sugar Hill Gang’s landmark song “Rapper’s Delight,” which I would later learn plagiarized lyrics from Grandmaster Caz of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers, was the shot heard ‘round the world. Kurtis Blow was hiphop’s first solo superstar. Afrika Bambaataa was the spiritual and musical emissary from funk and soul to hiphop. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five spoke so poignantly to my then-ghetto existence that I cried, hard, the first time I heard “The Message.” And Run-DMC was for us bboys and bgirls what The Beatles had been for screaming White teens two decades earlier.

Fitted Lee Jeans with stitched creases, suede Pumas, Le Tigre shirts, Kangols, name belts, baseball caps with sketched designs in the front folded on top with paper stuffed inside thus the caps floated on our heads like royal crowns, magic markers in our front or back pockets so we could tag our names here there everywhere (my tag was my nickname, “kepo1”), and so many of us popping locking breaking moonwalking doing the Pee Wee Herman the trot the wop the smurf the running man. We had no idea we were in the middle of a cultural revolution, but that is exactly what it was. And I am sure most of us did not know it was Kool Herc who kick-started the whole thing.

Right after my high school years I left Jersey City and went to college at Rutgers University where I would stumble upon the anti-apartheid movement, Black and Latino history in ways I had never contemplated previously, an upper class student named Lisa Williamson who would later change her name to Sister Souljah, and a spirit of activism that has been with me ever since. Indeed, we did not call it “hiphop activism” back then, but that is precisely what folks like myself, Souljah, Ras Baraka, April Silver, and many other Black and Latino babies of the Civil Rights Movement were doing, to a hiphop beat. Organizing in welfare hotels in mid-town Manhattan; building a summer camp for poor youth in North Carolina; re-registering voters in the Deep South; marching against police brutality here there everywhere; and staging state of the youth rallies and concerts in Harlem and Brooklyn.

It was somewhere between my trips to clubs with names like The Rooftop, Union Square, and Funhouse, and that work as a youth and student organizer, that his name first pushed its way into my consciousness:

Kool Herc, the father of hiphop—

But the details were sketchy at best:

Born in Jamaica as Clive Campbell.

Came to America in the late 1960s, on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement.

Heavily influenced by great artists of the funk and soul era, including James Brown.

Lived in The Bronx, one of New York City’s five boroughs, and the birthplace of hiphop culture.

Earned his nickname, “Hercules,” because of his height, frame, and demeanor on the basketball court as a youth. It was later shortened to Herc. And DJ Kool Herc & The Herculoids would become one of the early groundbreaking hiphop acts.

Along with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash widely considered the founding fathers, and the holy trinity of hiphop.

Generally credited with creating “the break beat” in the early 1970s, a djing technique that forms a critical foundation for hiphop music.

And that is essentially what I would know until far into the 1990s, when I first met Kool Herc in person at one or another hiphop program attempting to make hiphop into the political movement it never was, and that it will never be.

For hiphop is a cultural movement with political roots and political overtones, no question, but I have always been clear, even as a youth, that leaders have to emerge from hiphop’s multiple generations who, while nurtured on hiphop culture, must engage and work with the artists and iconic figures of our day just the way, say, Malcolm X engaged Sam Cooke, Maya Angelou, and Muhammad Ali or Martin Luther King, Jr. engaged Aretha Franklin and Harry Belafonte. Artists, cultural icons, can highlight, reflect, and support a movement, but those of us with real organizing skills and consistent activist mindsets must be the ones to make movements happen. The artists inspire activists to do what we do, and we activists inspire the artists to do what they do. And every now and then a great artist also happens to also be a great activist. (Think of Bono of the rock group U2, or Chuck D, front man for Public Enemy.)

That, for sure, is what we were doing in the late 1980s and early 1990s here in New York City, and in other parts of America. Making a movement go as we connected with everyone from LL Cool J and MC Lyte to Doug E Fresh and Ice Cube. But somewhere things went awry, many of us young activists fell off and out of the work for the people, and what we thought was a burgeoning social movement for change, fueled by hiphop, got decimated by a shift in what the corporations were suddenly permitting to be marketed and sold, with enthusiasm. Or not.

In other words, ever since the early 1990s we’ve had those of us who represent hiphop culture, with its five core elements (djing, mcing, dancing, graffiti writing, and knowledge). And then there is the hiphop industry, the bastard child of the culture, manipulated, twisted, and bent out of shape by a few corporations more interested in a dollar bill than the holistic development and natural growth of this art form. That is why we’ve been bombarded with over-the-top cursing and use of the N word, glorified violence, sexism and a ruthless disrespect for women and girls, excessive materialism, and soft porn and gangsterism passing as music videos for far too long. I am a writer, an artist myself, so I do not believe in censorship in any form. I am also a history buff, so I know full well our society is riddled with racism, sexism, violence, anti-intellectualism, and materialism, and that hiphop did not create any of these things. Hiphop, being the dominant cultural expression it is, simply is the most immediate and accessible frame flashing, 100 beats per minute, what is very wrong in too many to count American ‘hoods, both urban and suburban.

B-fresh photography

Likewise, what I do believe is missing is balance. Yes, I am absolutely clear that hiphop is a multicultural movement, belonging to people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, throughout the globe. And I love that I have come across, say, Israeli and Palestinian hiphoppers using the music to talk peace, or Italian, German, or French hiphoppers learning English via the music, or South African or Latin American hiphoppers using it as a tool for social change, or Asian American hiphoppers in California who love, embrace, and represent the culture far more than the offspring of the founders do. But the harsh reality is that the images we see, the sagas of mayhem we hear most, are of Black and Latino people. This is not just damaging to our psyches, just as crack cocaine was, but it is damaging to our spirits. And we’ve become stuck in a very vicious cycle where I sometimes wonder how many of us truly grasp that there is nothing wrong with rhyming about the ghetto, about parties and material things, if we also are expanding our worldviews enough to discuss other concerns, too. But that can’t happen if specific gatekeepers in the industry game block that kind of personal and cultural evolution from occurring.

A Lil’ Wayne, talented and fascinating as he is, is put on a mighty big pedestal because he is not really saying much at all and has become a cartoonish figure merely there for entertainment and shock value. Meanwhile, someone as intelligent and insightful as a Talib Kweli has to grind, hard, just for airplay, gigs, and our Twitter attention spans. As long as that kind of awful imbalance exists, then you can bet your bottom buck that Kool Herc and every other hiphop pioneer are not a part of conversations around the state of hiphop, the culture or the industry.

And just as there is a huge gap between older folks who know and can speak to the social struggles of bygone eras and the youth who often do not know those tales, there too is a huge gap between we heads who understand the history and traditions of hiphop, and those who actually believe it must’ve begun with Tupac or The Notorious B.I.G. I wish I were exaggerating, but the things I have heard in my travels across America about what hiphop is or is not are often, at best, numbing. No fault of our own, it is simply not taught in the schools, as it should be at this point. And God knows very few grade or high schools, or colleges or universities, ever consider bringing a living, breathing hiphop legend in to guest lecture, to be an artist in residence, especially given how much hiphop music and culture have penetrated every single crevice of American society.

And that is why quite a few who claim to love and be hiphop do not even know who Kool Herc is. And why those who have benefited, culturally, spiritually, and, yes, monetarily, have rarely engaged him from this thing we call hiphop. And this thing called hiphop, which was, for the most part, created by poor, working-class African Americans, West Indians, and Latinos in New York City, with a parallel energy generated by Latinos and Black on the West Coast in the 1970s, is now a multi-billion dollar global industry, and the dominant cultural expression on the planet for 30plus years and counting.

Afrika Bambaataa & Kool Herc credit Ernie Paniciolli

That, I imagine, is why Kool Herc and other pioneers of hiphop have always made it a point to stand up at various hiphop-related events and state who they are—sometimes with love and respect, sometimes with shades of bitterness and resentment framing the edges of their mouths—because if they do not, then they would remain largely invisible, or completely ignored. Think about how, for example, Black basketball trailblazers from back in the day, the ones documented in that great ESPN film “Black Magic,” must feel when they hear of the millions a LeBron James can command because of the sweat and blood equity they put in when there was no cable television, no endorsement deals, and these players were just as likely to be the victims of racial injustices as cheers.

As a matter of fact, I recall when I curated the very first exhibit on the history of hiphop culture in America, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1999, I encountered this kind of weariness, born of years of neglect, on numerous occasions. But I also remember the great joy many of these hiphop legends displayed because they were being recognized for their contributions. Unfortunately, that exhibit was so woefully under-funded, that we had to scrape together sponsors as best we could just to mount the show and fly pioneers there. For all the billions of dollars hiphop has made our economy and certain corporate giants, the great irony is how some still don’t view it as a legitimate art form, then and now. Regardless, as you can imagine, it was profoundly moving to meet, one by one, the architects of hiphop. Folks with names like Lady Pink, Popmaster Fabel, Lee Quinones, and an army of others. But the one person who always had the greatest mystique around him, without question, was Kool Herc.

For the record, we need to understand that Kool Herc is to hiphop what individuals like Big Mama Thornton, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard are to the history of rock and roll. Or what Jelly Roll Morton and The Creole Band are to jazz: visionary figures that far ahead of their time that they have been taken for granted, save a handful of diehard fans and historians.

And therein lies the enormous dilemma of Kool Herc’s current health condition. According to his sister Cindy Campbell who, as long as I can remember, has always been there supporting the legacy of her brother, Herc was hospitalized last October. He has serious kidney stones and they must be removed. $10,000 worth of medical bills have been piled up, and there is a need, according to Cindy, to raise at least $25,000 to cover expenses tied to this very necessary surgical procedure.

And Kool Herc, founding father of hiphop, is like so many dwelling in America: He does not have health insurance. Kool Herc makes his living djing and speaking, but he undoubtedly has not been treated in the way rock and jazz heroes and sheroes are treated.

Moreover, such a twisted paradox, this theme of Kool Herc’s lack of healthcare coverage, as we watch lawsuit after lawsuit being filed, throughout our nation, to dismantle President Obama’s historic legislation. And the Republican-dominated House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the president’s healthcare reform. Although that will not happen in the Democratic-controlled Senate chamber, the House vote is, assuredly, part of a long-term strategy aimed at undermining and derailing our president’s legislation.

To put this in a different context, as Kool Herc was setting foot in America in the late 1960s, Dr. King was publicly condemning the war in Vietnam and ultimately calling for “a poor people’s campaign.” For Dr. King understood that true democracy could never be fully realized in America if each and every one of us did not have access to the most basic of needs, including a quality education, a decent place to live, an opportunity to work, and the ability to get help if we were to take ill.

Dr. King was assassinated, and as quickly as major civil rights victories were won, conservative forces moved to dismantle or destroy them. That is why I always say to those critical of hiphop to keep in mind that if Kool Herc and others had not created this art form in the first place, there would be even more Blacks and Latinos, especially, who are unemployed, on the streets committing crimes, in jail, and without healthcare, or without anyone to petition for us to get help as hiphop icon DJ Premiere initially did for Kool Herc.

Cindy Campbell

“Herc wants to use this to bring awareness, not just about healthcare,” says Cindy Campbell. She adds: “There are so many other hiphop legends in similar situations, but they are not Kool Herc, so no one is going to rally around them. We want to create a foundation, a union, a fund, that makes sure these pioneers are protected in their time of need.”

And that is what we who truly care need to do. I have been bombarded with facebook messages and tweets from individuals not only angry and disturbed that Kool Herc is in this position, but also that certain hiphop luminaries are not moving, quickly or at all, to cover Herc’s medical bills. Names are being called. And hiphop moguls and superstars are being denigrated publicly. I personally don’t think that is the way to go. If the wealthy in hiphop America want to step up, they will. I hope they do, but I am not expecting much at this point given how much our culture has deteriorated into a space of spiritual imbalance and extreme individualism at the expense of the larger hiphop world. When any people, community, or culture has been dumbed down that much by forces beyond our comprehension, then it is not difficult to get why someone as valuable as a Kool Herc is as easily discarded as one’s last text message, or one’s last order of fast food.

Thus, what would be much more effective is, again, that permanent fund or foundation to support hiphop pioneers and classic hiphop artists just like we see with other genres of popular music. That way we never again have one of our legends sitting without healthcare as they make their way through their 50s, 60s, and beyond.

Additionally, I echo Cindy’s contention that hiphop, after all these years, needs to be recognized by our country, on a federal level, for the great cultural contributions it has made to America, and to the planet. No Kool Herc, no hiphop, and there would be no Queen Latifah, no Will Smith, no Jay-Z, no Russell Simmons, no Eminem, no mass popularity of professional basketball, no swagger to President Obama’s walk, no street teams as a marketing concept, and no spice to our American vocab (Do we really think catchphrases like “I’m good” just fall from the sky?).

Similarly, my friend, Toni Blackman, is not only one of the best freestyle rappers in the world, but she has made a career of being an American cultural ambassador, traveling from nation to nation, as a hiphop artist, crossing boundaries in the same way that American jazz musicians, for years, have done with the U.S. State Department.

Imagine if someone in Washington acknowledges our hiphop legends for their cultural contributions. It would be the path to truly honoring and recognizing a Kool Herc, an Afrika Bambaataa, a Grandmaster Flash, a Cold Crush Brothers, a Rock Steady Crew, a Universal Zulu Nation, an Ernie Paniciolli (the dean of hiphop photographers), and the numerous founding fathers and mothers of hiphop culture.

By treating them like the national treasures that they are—

Kevin Powell is a public speaker, activist, and author or editor of 10 books, including Open Letters to America (Soft Skull). Kevin was a 2010 Democratic candidate for the United States Congress in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and can be emailed at

Father of Hip Hop Kool Herc in Dire Straits Needs Surgery

The Father of Hip Hop culture, DJ Kool Herc is very sick. He needs surgery, has financial difficulties and has no health insurance. In short he’s in dire straits.

I have long dreaded the day when I would read this type of story. How many of our pioneering heroes and sheroes, not just in Hip Hop but in other music genres and in Black history have gone down this road? One would hope that after 35 years and us in Hip Hop having the luxury of hindsight and knowing the history of those came before us who suffered similar fates, this scenario would not be happening. Sadly we see history repeating itself..

What’s going on with the Father of Hip Hop Kool Herc is not only a commentary on the callousness of our society that wishes to slam other countries who allow their people to suffer for being ‘less than civilized’, but its also a commentary on us…

No,  I don’t expect every deejay, emcee and break dancer to dig into their pocket and give money. We’ve done this time and time again..From Sam Sneed to MC Breed, the Hip Hop community has had to hold some sort of fundraiser to help folks with medical expenses…We all recall the tragic passing of Professor X from X-Clan.. He could not afford medical care when he was feeling sick.. a few weeks later he passed away..

This should not be happening, As far as I’m concerned we all need to take a look and ask ourselves why is Health care so much? Why is the GOP wanting to repeal an already shoddy bill that doesn’t even have a public option? It was just this morning (Sunday Jan 30th) I was watching a TV show on NBC called ‘Press This’ that featured the former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. He was on there gearing up to run for President in 2012,  and pretty much saying we don’t need health care reform at all..

‘Let the free market take care of things’, is what he said..In other words survival of the fittest. If you fall through the cracks c’est la vie..

All I could do is shake my head. Obviously things are not working…Such assertions usually come from those who already have enough, money, resources and understanding of this system to survive. Most of us are at severe disadvantages which are compounded by the erroneous assumptions and arrogance of those who aren’t in trouble but are granted national platforms to espouse their flawed philosophies.

Right now the spotlight is on Kool Herc and hopefully we can rally to his aide.. After all, he’s the Father of a culture that is worldwide and makes billions of dollars a year for all sorts of corporations and selected individuals. But what about the other folks who aren’t named Kool Herc? What about you who is reading this who found yourself having to decide between paying skyrocketing rents or dropping your Blue Shield coverage after the rates increased a whooping 39%. Thank you Bruce Bodaken CEO of Blue Shield California…. You greedy Fortune 500 executive..

Anyway, while we ponder the state of our Health care and try to figure out why its a for profit business and not a basic human right, we may also ask ourselves,  how many of us seriously care and revere our pioneers? Why is Kool Herc in trouble and what are the fates of other pioneers? Keep in mind Herc is not the only pioneering figure who is sick and in trouble.. I don’t wanna put people’s businesses on front street without their permission, but the situation is not good and trust me.. the difficulties they face are not because people brought a million dollars worth of jewelry  and cars before taking care of themselves.

In addition there are a number of activists and organizers who are in serious trouble. Over the past few years there have been at least 5 or 6 that I can name who passed away from heart attacks and other’ preventable’ ailments. It was just this week a well known activist and friend in his 40s had a heart attack… Its one thing to show up at the emergency room at the 11th hour to get saved. Its another thing to have resources to go in for routine checkups. Some of this falls on us to try and keep ourselves healthy…but a lot of this should be all our collective responsibility…We have to make room for everyone to stay healthy and make it affordable.

We should be asking ourselves what role if any do these corporations who make billions off of Hip Hop play in looking out for them? For example, Kool Herc has been to the Bay Area on numerous occasions and I think maybe once he’s been on the commercial stations that plays Hip Hop and R&B.. The one time I recall was in ’96 when I had him on and maybe once when author Jeff Chang was promoting his book.. Other then that .. it’s been an absence.. Just as it was the other night when Afrika Bambaataa the Godfather of Hip Hop  was in town and there was no mention.

Meanwhile across town, let Mick Jagger break a fingernail or  we discover a 50 year old poor quality photo of the Beatles and time stops.

Again this happens way too much..

I spoke with Kool Herc’s sister Cindy Campbell, the Mother of Hip Hop. She said Kerc isout of the hospital for now and will need surgery next week. They are trying to figure out how this will get paid for.. I know that there’s a found raiser for him this coming Tuesday at Sutra which is in SOHO.. I also let Cindy know her and Herc along with any other pioneer and musician should reach out to Dave Marsh’s organization Rock and Rap Confidential. For years these guys have been trying to keep musicians up to date on a number of political issues including ways in which they can obtain Healthcare.  Several years ago I sat on a panel at SXSW where this was touched upon.. Also on the panel were the folks from  Rock A Mole productions who p[ut together an excellent documentary about musicians and healthcare.. Please visit the following links where you can find a ton of information.

I would strongly urge musicians to get involved with these organizations. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Anyone reading this please pass the information along. Take a few dollars from your next show and donate to theseplaces to make sure ALL musicians get covered.. We should not be having scenarios like the one Kool Herc is experiencing in 2011.

For those who have a couple of bucks Here’s a PO Bx for Herc… Kool Herc PO bx 20472 Huntington station, 111746..

Cindy said they will soon have a pay pal account.. What I would like to see are some of these radio stations who make upwards to 80 MILLION dollars a year playing Hip Hop to jump start a fund. It would be nice if some of the labels could do something as well.. It would be encouraging if folks who work at these companies get the ball rolling. Realistically most of these outlets will not do the right thing.. Black life is devalued. Pioneers in this culture are disposable, so while I think we should advocate and agitate, the likely scenario is it will come down to each and everyone of us.. so hollar at the folks from Rock & Rap Confidential.

Here’s an early interview I did with Kool Herc back in 1989 at the New Music seminar

-Davey D-


Big shout out to the folks over at All Hip Hop and DJ Premier for keeping folks us to date.. I hope that all of us in Hip Hop can raise our level of conversation to keep all of us informed….

(AllHipHop News) Hip-Hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc is currently in the hospital suffering from an unknown health condition.

According to Gangstarr’s DJ Premier, Kool Herc‘s health is deteriorating and he is in need of financial assistance, because he reportedly doesn’t have health insurance.

“Kool Herc is very sick,” DJ Premier revealed on his XM Satellite radio show Live From Headqcourterz. “For those that know about Hip-Hop, who we call the father of Hip-Hop, Kool Herc, is not doing well. It’s funny how we have a father of a culture that still lives, where as in some cultures they are dead and gone even though they may still be worshipped or reflected on in some kind of way.”

According to DJ Premier, he spoke to Herc, who revealed that he was in need of financial assistance because he didn’t have medical coverage.

Kool Herc, 55, is recognized by music historians as the Founding Father of Hip-Hop for his style of “Break” DJ’ing, which isolates the rhythm of a particular portion of a record.

He is credited for laying the foundation for the most popular genre of music in the world, after a party he hosted at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, in the South Bronx.

DJ Kool Herc is also a community activist who led a multi-year effort to prevent the sale of 1520 Sedgwick to greedy real estate speculators.

In September of 2010, the building received a $5.6 million dollar federal loan that halted the sale of the building, allowing hundreds of tenants to keep their homes.

Additionally, the  building has officially been recognized as the place Hip-Hop music during the party, which took place on August 11th, 1973.

“Being as though he is the man that set this whole culture off, y’all [the fans] should be willing any type of way you can.”