2020 55¢ Hip Hop – DJ
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 1, 2020
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
As the backbone of a hip hop performance, the DJ provides the music and the beat for the MC to sing over and the b-boys to dance to.
The term DJ (disc jockey) was coined in 1935 to describe famed radio announcer Martin Block. The first dance parties hosted by DJs came in the 1940s, as did the first use of two turntables for continuous music. By the 1960s, specialized equipment intended for use DJs began to appear. This helped develop the practice of beatmatching, in which DJs could transition seamlessly between songs with matching beats.
In the 1970s, hip hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc developed the technique of mixing between two records to lengthen the instrumental section. This marked the rise of turntablism, in which the turntables didn’t just play music, they also created sounds and new music. This led to hip hop’s signature scratching technique. Scratching is the practice of moving a record back and forth on the turntable to create new rhythmic sounds. There are a variety of scratching techniques that all create their own unique sounds.
The DJ’s role in hip hop is crucial. Their work requires both artistic talent and technical skill to create seamless music – beatmatching to blend songs together. When executed well, the DJ creates an exciting experience for audiences and dancers alike.