Founding Fathers Of Hip-Hop


UPG digital token system is a revolutionary new way of helping to support the community of independent purpose-driven creators and innovators.

We’re currently in the process of rolling out a series of collectible digital token drops to show our appreciation to the people who played a major role in the foundation of Hip Hop music and culture. The first set issued in the series named the “Founding Fathers of Hip-Hop” honors the people who gave rise to Hip Hop music, building its core at its very foundation from the local underground music scene to worldwide status, popularity, and adoption.


DJ Kool Herc (born Clive Campbell) is a Jamaican-American DJ who is credited for originating hip hop music in the Bronx, New York City, in the early 1970s. Following his “Back to School Jam” hosted on August 11, 1973 at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue he quickly became known as the Founding Father of Hip Hop. Enough said.



Kool DJ Red Alert (born Frederick Crute) was one of the first DJs to perform with the legendary Universal Zulu Nation group and rose to fame through breaking a myriad of other well known top-tier artists, catapulting them into stardom. His radio show on 98.7 Kiss FM in New York City is one of the longest consistently running Hip Hop shows in American radio. We recognize Kool DJ Red Alert as one of the founding fathers of hip hop music and culture.


Kurtis Blow (born Kurtis Walker) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record/film producer, b-boy (dancer), DJ, public speaker and minister. As the first rap artist to sign with a major label and the first to gain worldwide commercial success, he is a founder of many firsts. In 1980 “The Breaks” a single from his self-titled debut album was a major hit that became the first certified gold record in the rap genre. For this and many other reasons Kurtis Blow secures his position on Rushmore as a founding father of hip hop music and culture. 


Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was an American hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978. The group’s members were Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole, Keef Cowboy, Scorpio and Rahiem. Arguably first to popularize the use of ‘two turntables and a mic’ as a style of mc’ing in hip hop and pioneers of breakbeat DJ’ing as well as conscious rap in the late 70s / early 80s. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was the first hip hop group to be inducted into the Rock &  Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. We honor them all as founding fathers of Hip Hop music and culture.


Grandmaster Caz a.k.a Casanova Fly (born Curtis Brown) is an American rapper, songwriter, and DJ. A founding member of Mighty Crew (one of the first DJ crews in the late 1970s), Caz became known as the first rapper to perform vocals simultaneously while DJ’ing. He went on to be named #11th out of Blaze Magazine’s Top 50 MCs of all Time in 1998, was inducted into the Technics DJ Hall of Fame in 1999, and was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2008 with a plaque bearing his name on permanent display at the popular Grand Concourse thoroughfare in the Bronx. We gotta give honor to Grandmaster Caz among the founding fathers of Hip Hop music and culture.


Busy Bee (born David James Parker) is an American hip hop musician coming on the New York City music scene in 1977. Known for his comical freestyle lyrics Busy Bee gained popularity after participating in one of the earliest documented New York City rap battles in 1981 and was featured in the 1983 film Wild Style, billed as the first hip-hop motion picture. He was asked to join the legendary Zulu Nation by its members and made a cameo appearance as himself in the 2002 inner-city drama Paid in Full. Busy Bee was included in the video documentary Hip Hop Legends in 2007. We honor him today as one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop music and culture.