Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
Tim Lawrence is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London and the author of Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979 and Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973–1992, both also published by Duke University Press.
Downtown Configures Hip Hop
Hip hop emerged as an integrated cultural phenomenon when Bronx-based DJs, MCs, and even breakers started to appear in downtown venues. Sylvia Robinson staged the first breakthrough event at the Ritz. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five returned to midtown in less conducive circumstances when the Clash began their eight-night run at Bond’s and scheduled the lineup to appear as their first supporting act. Breaking began to attract more attention when Sally Banes and photographer Martha Cooper published the first feature on the form in the Village Voice. Following an introduction to Malcolm McLaren, Michael Holman staged a Zulu Nation warm-up show at the Ritz for McLaren’s band Bow Wow Wow that became the first to present DJ-ing, MC-ing, breaking, and graffiti as an integrated culture. McLaren employee Ruza Blue then asked Holman to bring the Zulu Nation show to her weekly slot at Negril.