The Jamaica Music Conference took place in Kingston at the Courtleigh Auditorium earlier this month.
As part of the event, Kool Herc and his sister Cindy Campbell joined SVP of artist/label relations at TIDAL Jason Kpana, Reggae/Caribbean/World curator and music programmer for Pandora Music Diego Herrera and YouTube’s Director of Urban Music Tuma Basa in a discussion about Jamaica’s direct connection to Hip Hop.
While walking by Herc and Campbell’s childhood home at 11 ½ York Street in Kingston’s Franklyn Tower, Herc revealed he was working on a Hip Hop museum for the island.
“When I was looking around [Kingston throughout the weekend], I saw that Peter Tosh and Bob Marley had museums,” Herc told Billboard. “Well guess what? I created something, so therefore, I have a contribution myself and it would add to the Jamaican economy with tourism.”
During the interview, Herc said it was time for Jamaica to take Hip Hop back while condemning the continuing trend of mainstream music stealing from Jamaican culture.
“It started with Eric Clapton when he covered Bob Marley’s“I Shot the Sheriff” [in 1974],” Herc said. “We should use it to our benefit instead of just making noise about it. It’s nice when somebody else uses our music. Just give recognition and give back money where it comes from. [It’s always about] taking something from us, but at the same time they know we are powerful and to be respected. When they are picking off of you it says something about the music.”
Campbell agreed “because we are the ones who bought the style and the technique to America, which [later] became Hip Hop.”
As the Jamaica Music Conference website explains, “The Jamaica Music Conference (JMC) is the preeminent music conference that connects music artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs globally with the who’s who in the Jamaica music industry.”
Herc is widely credited as Hip Hop’s founding father. Last May, he released his first vinyl record ever with DJ/Producer Mr. Green called Last of the Classic Beats.