'Godfather of Hip-Hop' Afrika Bambaataa Inks Publishing Deal With Sony/ATV Music

David Corio/Redferns
Afrika Bambaataa portrait at Celluloid Records, London, UK, 1983.

The "Godfather of Hip-Hop" Afrika Bambaataa has signed a worldwide deal (excluding North America) with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company announced on Thursday. The long-term pact includes the entire songwriting catalog and future work of Bambaataa, a pioneer of breakbeat DJing in the late 1970s whose embrace of electro sounds blew the hip-hop genre wide open with his hit "Planet Rock."

Other singles by Bambaataa include "Looking for the Perfect Beat" and "Renegades of Funk," both with his group the Soul Sonic Force, and there were also collaborations with soul-funk master James Brown ("Unity") and ex-Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon ("World Destruction").

"I am excited to team up with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and look forward to the future of many more spectacular, creative, mind blowing, positive events to happen from being with a company like this," Bambaataa said in a statement. "With so many great artists they already represent throughout the world, I will be following the greatness of many Motown groups that Sony/ATV looks after as well as the great Sly and the Family Stone, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and many more."

Sony/ATV A&R rep Yasmin Lajoie said the publisher was looking forward "setting up collaborations and assisting Bam with exciting new creative projects."