Grandmaster Caz, or C-A-S-A-N-O-V-A F-L-Y, is immortalized in the Sugar Hill Gang's version of "Rapper's Delight"--a rap he wrote, but never got credit for. (Later, Jay-Z, of all people, avenged Caz with a lyric in "Izzo": "Label owners hate me I'm raising the status quo up/ I'm overcharging niggas for what they did to the Cold Crush.") He's also the famous DJ/MC of the Cold Crush Brothers, the crew that most influenced Run-D.M.C., and is totally untouchable. He's the co-proprietor (with DJ Parker Lee) of Jazz Child Records, which releases his own records, and hosts hiphop-specific sightseeing tours of the Bronx with HusH Tours.

So you run Jazz Child.

Yes, me and my partner, Parker, have had this label for about five or six years now. Basically it's been my personal outlet for my stuff; I'm not running around trying to get a record deal anymore, you know what I mean? I'm just trying to build up my catalog until we get the right distribution deal, and I'm gonna bring up a lot of the other old-school artists that are still available and wanna do their thing. Parker came to work with us--me and my group, the Cold Crush Brothers--and then I just continued to work with him myself.

And you're hosting the hiphop tours?

I'm the host on the bus, we do a bus tour for people who live here and out-of-towners. We start in Midtown Manhattan, work our way up to Spanish Harlem, to Harlem up to the Bronx, and along the way we show a video presentation by Ralph McDaniels from Video Music Box. We talk about the origins of hiphop, some of the players, some of the places where hiphoppers performed, different significant landmarks in the city that have to do with hiphop artists. It's very educational, and it's very fun.

Do you feel like the stories of the pioneers of hiphop aren't out there as much as they should be?

No, I don't think they are. But I think that you have to appeal to people who want to learn and want to know about what happened before, and once you get enough of them, they spread the word. Then people who don't know or don't care can catch on, too. The more people who know, the more the stories will spread.

What do you love most about hiphop?

The same thing I loved when I was 13 when I started doing it: part of it is mine. I invented a part of it, and it belongs to me. It's not something you venture into and say, "I used to do that;" not for me, not when you start something. I've dedicated my life to hiphop and the entire culture of hiphop, not just rap. I've pretty much sacrificed anything else that I would have or could have done aside from it. I chose this at an early age and that's it. I'm 42 years old, and I'm still b-boying, you know what I mean? That's not gonna change.

What do you think is in the future for hiphop?

You never know. The culture of hiphop, I believe, will remain true and strong to its roots. Now rap; rap is the most exploited element, and that's gonna go through a number of changes before it's all said and done, 'cause it's all over the world--and the whole world hasn't been heard from yet. There are rap artists from Japan, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, from France; they have yet to be heard from on a universal front. Hiphop has a long way to go before it reaches its peak.

Is it amazing to think that something you help created is so far-reaching?

Oh, yeah! It's what keeps me going; you become part of something that grows to be so big. It's part of our entire existence, and it affects every medium. There's no getting around it.