Hip Hop's Founding Father Too Broke to Pay for Surgery

Kool Herc, the Bronx DJ who invented the break beat and thereby became the Thomas Jefferson of hip hop, spawned a musical genre that has made countless people millionaires. Not Herc, though; he's reportedly sick and broke.

On his Sirius radio show this weekend, DJ Premier said that Herc is "very sick" and in need of surgery, but can't pay for it because he has no medical insurance. Despite his founding role in hip hop, Herc was more of a party DJ than a record-maker, and consequently (like many of his old school peers) never did a very good job of cashing in on what he created. He's a living (for now) reminder of Industry rule number 4080.

If you want to donate to Herc, info can be found here. Jay-Z and 50 Cent could probably pool their pocket change and have this cleared up by the end of the day. (Or some white record executives! Even better.) [Photo: Getty]