All Yesterday's Parties
After Sunn0))) and Boris closed out All Tomorrow’s Parties fest last night with their Altar performance in upstate New York, DJ Kool Herc—the man who basically invented rap—did a DJ set. It was pretty amazing watching the master put together a perfect dance set, including bits of James Brown, Michael Jackson (and the Vincent Price poem from “Thriller”) and basically an encyclopedia’s worth of breaks on the best hip-hop records.
Partway into his set, in walked Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, who had played a sort-of aggressive set at the same time as Altar (I went back and forth between the two.) He just kept riling the crowd saying, “You’re all looking at me like you’re scared. You guys can’t make eye contact for more than four seconds.” He performed great nonetheless. Anyway, in the presence of Herc, he was nothing but reverent. He nonchalantly stepped behind the turntables and said hello. Check out the pic above. It was one of those rare moments where you felt like you were seeing something rare and historic. GZA grabbed the mic and talked about what a legend Kool Herc was and thanked him before leaving. I’m glad I got to see it take place.