“Once a Time in New York – The Birth of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk” was broadcasted by the BBC in 2004 and is now available on youtube amongst all the fail compilations, cute kittens and make up tutorials.
In the 1970s the Big Apple was rotten to the core, yet out of the grime, grit and low rent space emerged new music unlike anything that had gone before. Inspired by the Velvet Underground, a new wave of ‘punk’ rock emerged in lower Manhattan including The New York Dolls, The Ramones and the Patti Smith Group. Meanwhile, downtown loft parties held by gay New Yorkers heralded the birth of disco, which would eventually spawn the ultimate club for the privileged few: Studio 54. The swanky mid-town discos were out of bounds to black New York so in the Bronx DJs such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa created their own parties, heralding the birth of hip hop.