Don’t get me wrong Kool Herc is a great guy and a pioneer dj. But, when it comes to his business brand, there’s something within him that holds him back from success. DJ Premier said on his radio show, “Kool Herc is very sick, has no insurance, using the metro card to get around, and needs to pay his bills so he can get out of the hospital.” And that’s when all hell broke loose in this episode of Reparations-for-a-Hip-Hop-Legend.
But, hold up wait a minute. We were never told how much money needed to be raised nor the nature of the medical procedures that Herc needed. None of that was mentioned. But still we went crazy on ‘black Twitter’ asking for Kool Herc’s reparations. Even I was ready to send my dollar-dollar-bill-y’all. C’mon it’s Kool Herc, good cause. Right? Wrong. It turns out he is not ‘gravely ill’ but that Herc was suffering pain from his neglected kidney stones!
Legendary Hip-Hop photographers- Joe Conzo and Brother Ernie Paniccioli helped me to find out the real deal on this episode. And did you know Kool Herc and sister Cindy Campbell will not return phone calls or e-mails without an interview fee? I mean, really tho’.
Joe Conzo posted on Facebook, “Why I’m Not Donating To Kool Herc” by XXL contributor Byron Crawford. This article had a refreshing and not-so-pretty opinion on what Hip-Hop owes to Kool Herc. He says, “There’s a shedload of people on Black People Twitter (though almost all of them are unemployed). If even a tiny percentage of them sent Kool Herc’s sister $5 via PayPal…he could end up with millions of dollars. To pay for some shit that couldn’t cost that much money.”
Brother Ernie reflects, “Most of them cats are still living in ’73. Yeah I did a lot of cool things in ’73. But I also did in ’83, ’93, 2003 and so on. When you get stuck in a time warp, The real question about him can you go the store and get a Kool Herc record?”
Paniccioli also reveals the resentment that eats up Kool Herc, “You know why Joe Conzo put up that post up? When Joe did his book, he was doing interviews for the NY Times in the streets of the South Bronx, and Herc came by calling him a sellout and a bitch because he didn’t pay him for his pictures in the book.”
Despite that incident back in ’02. Joe Conzo still continued his friendship with Kool Herc and says he even accompanied Kool Herc to his hospital appointments at St. Barnabas Hospital back in October. Herc had a stent put in to temporarily alleviate the pain from the kidney stones. And he was to return in two weeks to have it removed but Herc kept missing his appointments due to bad weather and not feeling well according to his sister Cindy Campbell. It is now February, four months later.
Steven Clark, spokesperson for the hospital said that they were helping out Herc because of his financial hardships. Clark explains, “If a patient doesn’t show up, or repeatedly misses appointments, that changes the game,” he said. “They can’t dictate their care.”
Conzo, also a celebrated EMT/Union Officer, doesn’t take this donation call lightly, “My point is the responsibility falls on the patient also. And if you don’t hold up your end well…Last time we spoke was Sunday. We was supposed to meet Monday to have his thing out ’cause he said he had the money. And Boom! Then this shit jumped off and I still haven’t heard from Herc.”
At the end of the day we are all rooting for Kool Herc’s kidney stones to piss on out of him sooner than later because we love our grumpy Godfather. And hopefully the 55-year-old will speak on health care reform and find new means of income that involve making Hip-Hop again instead of expecting money to come from the mere fact that he was: the O.G. DJ back in ’73 throwing the ill BX parties, rolling around in a Cadillac with the top down so his larger-than-life speakers could blast that boom-bap-original-rap.
Hip-Hop Loves Kool Herc.