From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Culture: from Poe to hip-hop
Author Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life (1846 to 1849) in the Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island.
In recent years, the Bronx has become an important center of African-American culture. Hip hop first emerged in the West Bronx in the early 1970s. The New York Times has identified 1520 Sedgwick Avenue "an otherwise unremarkable high-rise just north of the Cross Bronx Expressway and hard along the Major Deegan Expressway" as the starting point, where DJ Kool Herc presided over parties in the community room. Beginning with the advent of beat match DJing, in which Bronx DJs including Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc extended the breaks of funk records, a major new musical genre emerged that sought to isolate the percussion breaks of hit funk, disco and soul songs. As hip hop's popularity grew, performers began speaking ("rapping") in sync with the beats, and became known as MCs or emcees. The Herculoids, made up of Herc, Coke La Rock, and Clark Kent, were the earliest to gain major fame. The Bronx is referred to in hip-hop slang as "The Boogie Down Bronx", or just "The Boogie Down".