Forty-four years ago today DJ Kool Herc threw a party in the Bronx and decided he wanted to change up the sound.
He played only the instrumental sections or “breaks” from full songs and had his friend Coke La Rock hype the crowd through the mic. The partygoers went nuts and modern day hip-hop was born.
Google on Friday is honouring that night with an interactive Google Doodle that celebrates the hip-hop movement’s origins and culture.
The new doodle was designed by Cey Adams, the legendary graffiti artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records. Adams said he was excited by the opportunity to put a graffiti-style logo on the Google homepage and have it be seen by people all over the world.
Graffiti is sometimes associated with vandalism. When he was just getting started, Adams said it was difficult to get the message across that he was an artist and not a vandal.
The two O’s in the new Google Doodle are turntables and allude to the ones Kool Herc, whose real name is Clive Campbell, used the night of the pioneering party. Users can click them for a chance to mix their own samples from legendary Hip-Hop tracks.
The team behind the new logo spent time researching and talking to early pioneers of Hip-Hop to narrow down which artists to include. Fab 5 Freddy, the former host of the ’90s era show “Yo! MTV Raps,” narrates the whole experience, interweaving history and culture into the design.
Perla Campos, one of the Googlers who worked on the Doodle, said it was one of the most technologically challenging designs she and her team have worked on because of all the voices and collaborators they wanted to include. The engineers wanted to do justice to the important role hip-hop plays in people’s lives while shedding light on the genre’s diversity.
Adams’ goal with the design was to give visitors to the Google homepage a sort of hip-hop education. He also wanted to shed light on some of the historical and cultural aspects of the music that often get ignored in the face of more negative stereotypes.
Head over to the Google homepage and click the turntables to try it out for yourself.
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