For practical reasons, he is considered to be the first hip-hop emcee. Originally a member of the Zulu Nation in the mid-70's, CLR used to rock on stage with the big dj's in the Bronx at the time. In 1976, Kool Herc asked him to act as his own master of ceremonies when his gig of spinning records became to intense, limiting Herc's opportunity to directly talk to the crowd. They were then joined by Timmy Tim and Clark Kent, becoming the Herculoids. Kool Herc and the Herculoids used to rock club spots like PAL, Celeb Club, Stardust Ballroom, Hoe Ave Boys Club, Harlem World, and Black Door. Although Coke La Rock, along with the other members of the Herculoids, never had routines as polished as rival crews such as the Furious 5, the Cold Crush Bros., or the Notorios 2, many hip-hop purists give him recognition as the first rapper ever.
If Kool Herc personally recruited him, then Coke La Rock must have been good.