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DJ Jazzy Jay & DJ Tony Tone: Hip Hop History Lecture

DJ Rob Swift hosted a lecture at The New School for his DJ class in the music curriculum. Students not only learn the proper techniques of being a technically skilled DJ that can adapt to his/her surroundings, but they also learn the origins of where the DJ came from. Rob Swift brought in two architects of Hip Hop culture to share their stories from the 1970s when Hip Hop was in its infancy stage. DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Tony Tone were some of the first few Hip Hop DJs in American history. Jazzy Jay had a close relationship with Afrika Bambaataa and would spin many parties together, influencing a generation of new DJs. DJ Tony Tone was the original DJ for the Cold Crush Brothers, one of the most popular Hip Hop groups, known for their melodies, intricate rhymes, and storytelling abilities.

In this lecture, Jazzy Jay and Tony Tone reminisce on how they began DJing, from building equipment by hand and carrying dozens of record crates to each party. The art of the DJ is a very deep-rooted skill and takes years to master. Rob Swift stated “Today, students from my DJ Skills & Styles class at The New School learned about the history of DJing from two legends. How blessed were WE to be in the presence of Hip Hop royalty this afternoon.”

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