Lovebug Starski, one of the pioneers of hip-hop, has died, NPR reports. He was 57. Born Kevin Smith, Starski was a rapper and DJ in the 1970s and ’80s. While the exact origin of the term has been disputed, Starski was widely credited with coining the term “hip-hop” by incorporating the phrase in his rhymes. Sylvia Robinson reportedly got the idea to record rap music and start her label Sugar Hill Records when she heard Starski at a party. He released a number of records in the ’80s including the 1986 album House Rocker and the singles “Amityville (The House on the Hill),” “Do the Right Thing,” and “You’ve Gotta Believe.” He was still performing over the past decade, including playing a show with KRS-One in Las Vegas last week.
Chuck D: “Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC and innovator. A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”