Google is bringing the funk with a doodle & digital turntable marking the birth of Hip Hop music

I said a hip hop, hippie to the hippie, the hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop.

Those were the very first Hip Hop lyrics I remember hearing from my mom’s eight-track tape deck back in the late ’70s. It turns out Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” came six years after Hip Hop music was first introduced.

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop, and Google has created a Doodle to celebrate the music genre that launched a cultural revolution. The doodle doubles as an interactive turntable and includes a tutorial recorded by Hip Hop icon (and YO! MTV Raps host) Fab 5 Freddy.

From the Google Doodle Blog:

On August 11, 1973, an 18-year-old, Jamaican-American DJ who went by the name of Kool Herc threw a back-to-school jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York. During his set, he decided to do something different. Instead of playing the songs in full, he played only their instrumental sections, or “breaks” — sections where he noticed the crowd went wild. During these “breaks” his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd with a microphone. And with that, Hip Hop was born.

Today’s doodle leads to a search for “Hip Hop history” and includes artwork created by famed graffiti artist Cey Adams.

Clicking the doodle’s play button launches the following video narrated by Fab 5 Freddy, giving a quick history on the origins of Hip Hop before starting the turntable tutorial:

The Google Doodle team recruited YouTube’s head of music, Lyor Cohen — who is also the former head of Def Jam records — to share what Hip Hop means to him.

“Hip Hop was disruptive. Ultimately, to me, it shows that people in any situation have the ability to create something powerful and meaningful,” writes Cohen on the Google Doodle Blog. “The progression of this culture and sound — from Kool Herc spinning James Brown breaks at a block party to Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Drake being some of the biggest forces in music 44 years later — is something that few people at that first party could have anticipated.”

Cohen says Hip Hop music has accomplished exactly what its founders set out to do: “It placed an accessible culture, relatable to any marginalized group in the world, at the forefront of music.”

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