The Cassette Tape holds a particular significance in Hip-Hop and Bboy Culture, as one of the most recognizable symbols of the movement.
In his speech at the Zulu Nation Miami Chapter’s 20th Anniversary in 2013, Zulu Nation founder and Godfather of Hip-Hop Afrika Bambaataa remarked that Cassette Tapes were the original medium through which early Hip-Hop culture was transmitted from one to another, as the underground movement wasn’t being pressed en masse, and the music couldn’t be found on the radio or in the record store.
This meant that Hip-Hop Culture had to grow through direct connection to others involved in the movement, and as MCing, DJing, and Breakdancing (as the musical elements of the new culture) spread throughout New York and eventually the world, it was through Cassette Tapes that Bboys and Bgirls could share the experience with others.
Throughout the 1970s, Hip-Hop pioneer DJs like Bambaataa, DJ Hollywood, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, and others were known for selling Cassette Taped recordings of their party and club performances, as well as custom-made mixes at top dollar prices.
As recording equipment and ultimately, digital recording and mp3 technology made Cassette Tapes and their often bulky and lower-quality players all but obsolete, tapes were no longer a practical option for transmitting sounds.
However, the Cassette Tape, aka Mix Tape, serves as a living relic to the Hip-Hop movement, and we found that this would be the most sensible symbol of our mission at Bboysounds, which is the transmission of Hip-Hop and Bboy Music and Culture, and the preservation of the movement’s most primary goals: