The Incredible story of a Bongo Band, “Apache” and Hip Hop.

The Incredible story of a Bongo Band, “Apache” and Hip Hop.

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[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]hinking about cultural inspirations I must say various things was involved into a Hip Hop culture. The foundation of it is music, dance, artistic activities, knowledge, poetry, technical skills in all senses. At this point I started to do my own research about some early 60’s inspirations and one of them was a music band which was always in front of me but I’ve never been digging deep into the history. This band is The Incredible Bongo Band.
Music world in early 60’s was full of the greatest artists of all times. Many of them did ageless compositions. We can listen to the records, we can watch the footage and we still don’t know the history behind which is crucial for understanding the roots of our culture. The thing is there were many musicians or so called studio/session musicians who been playing on the instruments together with the leaders. Most of the time they spend hours in the studio to perform non stop until the end result was crisp and punchy.

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“We are the people You always heard but You never heard of. We create heroes from Elvis Presley to Eric Clapton. That was our job”
Mike Deasy | Musician

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Session musicians like: Mike Deasy, Ed Greene, Mike Melvoin, Joe Sample, Robbie King, Dean Parks, David T. Walker, Bobbye Hall, Kat Hendrikse, Wilton Felder, Jerry Scheff, Steve Douglas created one incredible band. Driven by Michael Viner (first name of the band was Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band) film and records producer they started to combine bongos with a percussion, guitars, saxophones and keyboards. This lead to create Apache” – one of the greatest and the most sampled song ever in Hip Hop history. First “Apache” version was made by The Arrows – the backing group of guitarist Davie Allan.

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In 1973 “Apache” was a groundbreaking episode in a Bronx youth revolution. One particular break in the song opened a new chapter in a music culture. Dj Kool Herc was able to play the “break” on and on in a club. He noticed that crowd is getting wild during the breaks in the song so he was mixing live two records creating looping effect. Very soon “Apache” became a hit, used hundred times in a different variations across all music genres (been used by: Nas, Missy Elliott, Dj Jazzy Jeff, Sugarhill Gang, Amy Winehouse, Grandmaster Flash)

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Grandmaster Caz a DJ and a producer remember his first Dj Battle in the early 70’s. Each Dj had a period of time to use his best songs to move the crowd in a club. Caz’s opponent started and people were moving to the classics like: Diana Ross, Jacksons 5. But after that they switched and the first record Grandmaster Caz was playing was “Apache”. He had two copies ready to loop the break in a song. The dance floor was mad! Shortly after playing a couple of records, something happened…

If You want to know what happened that night, You gotta watch the full story – a documentary called “Sample this”. A movie where You’ll know what tragedy occurred to the band, who are the musicians behind the instruments plus many more.

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Purchase DVD —>  HERE

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Official website of the move:


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