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December 10, 1954|
Harlem, New York
Anthony Holloway, better known as DJ Hollywood (born December 10, 1954), is an American MC/rapper and DJ.
According to Kurtis Blow and Pete DJ Jones, Hollywood was the first rapper in the hip-hop style, making him the "Father" of the Hip Hop style. Before Hollywood introduced "Hip Hop style" rapping, he had already impacted DJing by creating a set that included singing, rhyming, and call and response, where he interacted with the crowd. An example would be Hollywood saying, "If you're feeling good with Hollywood somebody say, Oh yeah!" And the crowd would shout back: "Oh yeah!" Some of his creations other rappers have been using for the last 30 years such as "throw ya hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care."
Holloway said, "Don't get me wrong they had people [who] rapped before me syncopated and unsyncopated. I cannot take nothing away from people like Oscar Brown Jr., Pigmeat Markham, the Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron, the Watts Prophets, Rudy Ray Moore, I used to listen to all of them. I cannot take nothing from none of them... but none of them was doing what I was doing with the turntables and a mic."
Hollywood's renown spread rapidly and he became a regular at the Apollo, even having his named added to the marquee. Hollywood had been DJing since 1972, and like every MC, he "rhythm talked." And like radio DJs, he usually pattered sequences of one or two bar rhymes. Hollywood said, he used to like the way "Frankie Crocker would ride a track, but he wasn't syncopated to the track though. I liked WWRL DJ] Hank Spann too, but he wasn't on the one. Guys back then weren't concerned with being musical. I wanted to flow with the record."
In 1975, Hollywood would make his greatest contribution, when he adapted the lyrics of Isaac Hayes's "Good Love 6-9969" to the breakdown part of MFSB's "Love is the Message," which made Hollywood became an instant sensation. Hollywood did something new; he rhymed syncopated to the beat of an existing record uninterruptedly for nearly a minute. In effect, he connected the various short MC rhymes/patters into one continuous rhyme, introducing "flow" and giving birth to what would become known as the "Hip Hop" style. What actually did Hollywood do? He created "flow." Before then all MCs rhymed based on radio DJs. This usually consisted of short patters that were disconnect thematically; they were separate unto themselves. But by Hollywood using song lyrics, he had an inherent flow and theme to his rhyme. This was the game changer.
Before long club owners in the South Bronx hired Hollywood to play at a spot called Club 371. In the Bronx, Kevin Smith, better known as Lovebug Starski, is considered one of the first Hip Hop style rappers. Lovebug Starski would eventually join Pete DJ Jones' sets (a Disco set). Starski, however, was Hollywood's partner, his boy, and he simply imitated this new style. And what would Starski add to the game: he migrated the Hip Hop style rapping from Disco DJing to Hip Hop DJing when he jammed at what became known as the Burger King Disco, and later worked with Grandmaster Flash. DJ Kool Herc said the first MCs he heard that rhymed in the Hip Hop style were Melle Mel and his brother Kidd Creole, who were both part of Flash's crew. But Starski is the person who introduced it to the Bronx Hip Hop set where it quickly became the standard.
Most of his body of musical work was live, not recorded, although he did release a single "Shock Shock The House" in 1980 on CBS Records. Until the mid-1980s, Hollywood was one of the top DJs. He retired from the business and fought a drug addiction. He has since returned to performing in the New York City area, appearing with Tha Veteranz which reunited him with his former partner Lovebug Starski.