Afrika Bambaataa (born April 10, 1960) was a DJ from the Bronx in the late 1970s, and was soon instrumental in the early development of rap music, leading the way with his 1982 Planet Rock.
Bambaataa was born Kevin Donovan in the Bronx on April 10, 1960. He changed his name to Afrika Bambaataa Aasim in honor of an ancient Zulu chief. By 1977, Bambaataa had begun organizing block parties all around the box, and he was soon renowned as one of the best DJs in the business. In 1980, he produced Soul Sonic Force's landmark single, "Zulu Nation Throwdown". The single helped fuel the development of the Zulu Nation, a group of racially and politically aware rappers that gained fame in the late eighties to mid nineties.
In 1982, Bambaataa became a solo artist (having produced several other singles) and released "Jazzy Sensation" on Tommy Boy Records in that year. "Planet Rock", a popular single, came out that June. The song melded hip hop beats with Kraftwerk's bizarre, early electronic music. In 1984, Bambaataa recorded "Unity" with James Brown and released "World Destruction" under the name Time Zone (with John Lydon). Shango Funk Theology, a full length album, came out under the name Shango. This was followed by "Funk You" in 1985 and then his formal full album debut, Beware (The Funk Is Everywhere).
Bambaataa then left Tommy Boy and signed with Capitol Records, released The Light (as Afrika Bambaataa & the Family), which included aid from George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Boy George and UB40. 1990-2000: Decade of Darkness was released in 1991. He then went on to enjoy a solid solo career.