The rapping or hip-hop industry is enormous. Many talents have been thriving in it for a very long time, and new talents are coming in every second day.
But you must have thought that where did it all begin? Who began all this? Who was the first rapper? The first rapper, who pitched the whole idea of the hip-hop genre, is still alive.
The first rapper in the industry was/is Coke La Rock or Coco La Rock. Rock was born on 24th April 1955 in The Bronx, New York City, USA. But his family also has connections with another US state, North Carolina.
He is widely recognized as the very first rapper in the industry. He started his career in 1973, and it has been almost 50 years, and he is still active. Can you imagine?
If you have read about the new rappers, you would know that most of them began their careers after 2010, which means their careers are aged only 10+ years.
Furthermore, they are not in their thirties or forties yet. Rock is around 68 years old as of 2023. He began his career in New York City. Many rappers have come and gone, but Rock has stayed.
Alongside his friend, Kool Herc, a DJ and one of the pioneers of hip-hop music, Coco decided to create a new genre, hip-hop music. His friend, Herc, had a crew, and Coke was also an associate.
Rock had not yet come up with any name or ALIAS till then. He used to rap while sitting among the audience casually. Some sources claim that during a birthday party of Herc’s sister Cindy, Rock came up with his famous stage name, Coke La Rock.
He was always interested in rapping and used to sing the names of his family and friends randomly in a rap tone. But then he took a step further and started learning more about the poetry in his songs.
Most of his songs or raps were created on the spot. In other words, he did not use to plan any of those songs or their lyrics; just when he used to start singing, words, lyrics, and sometimes rhymes randomly came into his mind.
That was quite a talent, and he knew that from the beginning. He was destined to do something unique and big, and thus, he did.
How Did Coke La Rock Become Famous & How Did He Lose The Fame?
Rock used to say that he did plan to rap whenever he sang, but just sing his friends’ names, the parked car, sway the ladies, and other stuff like that; you get the point, right?
Have you ever heard of Nicky Barnes or Frank Lucas? They were the top drug dealers of their time. They were at the top of the game.
Rock used to call himself and Herc the Nicky and Frank of the rapping industry. He was so confident of himself and his God-gifted talent.
He stepped into the industry in 1973 when he was just 18 years old. He was always determined to reach the top, and he did.
Coke became pretty famous among the masses and began making a lot of fortune alongside his friend, Herc, and his crew, Herculoids.
But then, we just can’t ignore Sir Isaac Newton’s rule:
Whatever goes up must come down
That is precisely what happened with our first rapper and his friend. Inspired by Rock himself, new hip-hop groups began improving rap music and genre and started doing better.
Rock and Herc only enjoyed four years of total monopoly over the industry, but the tables turned in 1977. Their fame started declining. People were turning away from them.
Then, an even more tragic incident happened. Someone stabbed Herc during a reception. Rock was angry and decided to find the attacker at all costs and FINISH him off.
After a stressful hunt, he came back empty-handed and thought of letting the assaulter go away unharmed. He was unsuccessful in this hunt.
Now it was time for Rock to take some decisive steps, to do something, and can you guess what he did? He decided to step aside and leave the rapping industry.
He knew that the new era belonged to the new generation. So, keeping that in mind, our “first rapper” let other rappers make big in this field.
The birth of his son also contributed to his retirement thought process, and he wanted to spend some precious time with his family.
Surprisingly, Rock does not have many tracks, songs, or albums released in his name. But the track that he has appeared in is “Hello – Merry Christmas Baby!” which came out in 2008.
But wait just a minute, Rock’s chapter did not close there. He was back with a bang in 2021 when he released “Rolling 110 Deep.”
He has around 6,700+ followers on Instagram at @coke_la_rock. You can listen to his songs online, but he does not have an official Spotify or a SoundCloud account.
That was our very first rapper in the hip-hop industry. We have talked about his early life, his rise to fame, his fall, and some other things.
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