Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford Wiki – Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford Bio
Rbert “Rocky” Ford Jr, the former Billboard journalist and Kurtis Blow contributor, died at age 70, according to his son Robert Ford and Russell Simmons. Ford’s cause of death has not been released. Simmons said in his Instagram post that Ford had suffered from diabetes during his lifetime.
Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford Age
He was 70 years old.
Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford Work & Career
Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford began working with Billboard magazine in the 1970s and is credited with writing the first major article on hip-hop culture. Ford highlighted the piece, “B-Beats Bombarding The Bronx: Mobile DJ Starts Something With Oldie R&B Disks” in July 1978. The article followed Cool Herc’s adventures and the parties he organized. The article concluded with the lines:
- Herc hopes that someday he will be able to produce an entire B-beat album featuring, “Bongo Rock,” and other obscure numbers. Till then he plans to keep packing them in at the clubs and dances he works in The Bronx.
Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford left Billboard magazine in 1979 to work with Kurtis Blow on hip-hop’s first hit “Christmas Rappin”. Ford worked on the song with another former Billboard magazine employee, J.B. Moore. As a result of the song’s success, Ford helped Blow strike a deal with Mercury Records. This made Blow the first rapper to have a major recording contract.
Ford then worked with Blow again, this time alongside Russell Simmons, J.B. Moore and Larry Smith on the hit song, “The Breaks.”
In the December 2013 oral history of Kurtis Blow’s music video, “Basketball,” titled “They’re Playing Basketball,” J.B. Moore said that he and Ford covered the RnB charts for Billboard. Smith is quoted in the article as saying: “I think Robert wrote the first hip-hop article for an aerial publication. We both knew it was going to be great, we could smell it.” Moore is later quoted as saying that Ford “knew everything” about basketball. Moore recounted a time in a VFW room in Indiana, where locals were surprised that Ford knew more about Indiana teams than they did. Moore added: “Ford knew the oceans over the hoops.”
Moore goes on to say that Blow and Ford “split” before the video was finished. Moore said that without Ford’s connections in the NBA, the producers were unable to secure official footage for the music video. Moore said had the video had that footage it “would have made for an all-time classic video.”
Robert ‘Rocky’ Ford Death & Cause
Rbert “Rocky” Ford Jr, the former Billboard journalist and Kurtis Blow contributor, died at age 70, according to his son Robert Ford and Russell Simmons.
Simmons referred to Ford as his “guru.” Simmons said that Ford encouraged him to be honest throughout his career and to only take 10 percent from his artists. Shortly after working on “The Breaks,” Simmons became Kurtis Blow’s manager.
Simmons said in part:
When I met him, he worked at Billboard Magazine. He lived in Queens and one day, he found my promo flyer for a Hip Hop party and contacted me to write the first story on rap and how it was a hood phenomenon. He put me in the story as ‘the promoter.’ That was first time I ever saw my name anywhere in the media. He believed in Hip Hop and me.
Originally from the U.K., Darryl Hinton is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in Trending Topics of United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Hinton’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.