The man who proclaims he is the first emcee in Hip Hop is on a quest to get what he believes is rightfully owed. Coke La Rock, who was on the mic at the Sedgwick Ave party that started the music genre, says the phrases he made that night never granted him credit or money.
This pattern continued on, as La Rock would perform at varying events coining phrases such as “you rock and you don’t stop” that are now affiliated with other acts. The Bronx native claims that his due recognition has fallen by the wayside, but is ultimately much deserved.
“If Herc is the father of hip-hop… everybody knows that, if Herc came out of there and I picked the mic up and I came out of there. Why am I not known for that?” he shared with ABC News Live. “Where’s the royalty money of this?”
Fortunately for La Rock and other artists in his situation, there are supporters and resources being made available to rectify this issue. Legal representation believes that La Rock has a viable claim to backpay for his contributions to Hip Hop’s most notable songs, as his mixtapes provide the physical evidence needed to support his notion.
This negligence towards foundational artists also inspired The Hip Hop Alliance to create a “Legends Fund’ that will support financially struggling elders in the Hip Hop community. The labor force organization is advocating for artists to receive benefits, wages and royalties from their art. The members of the original era of Hip Hop are united in this battle to gain the recognition and funding for their trailblazing work.
Although still in the ground stages, La Rock has a fighting chance to be celebrated for his influence on the genre that changed music forever. Ultimately, La Rock wants the solidify his own legacy for his family through an acknowledgment of his distinct impact on the musical art form,
“It makes you feel good because…it’s really for my grandkids’ kids to be on and just to know the truth.”
Source: Black Enterprise