Google is celebrating the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop with a new interactive Doodle that allows users to become their own DJ.
Google’s homepage features a graffiti-style version of the company’s logo with a play button located in the middle that begins an animated short starring Fab 5 Freddy, rapper and former host of Yo MTV Raps.
After Fab 5 Freddy details how DJ Kool Herc ushered along the birth of hip-hop in 1973, users are then invited to scratch and mix their own records from a selection of legendary tracks from hip-hop pioneers.
“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,” Google writes about how the music genre came to be.
“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,” they continue.
The Doodle’s executive consultant and partner Lyor Cohen, the former head of Def Jam Records and now YouTube’s global head of music, details the birth of hip-hop further explaining the impact the music had on people and society.
“Hip-hop was accessible. A kid with little means and hard work could transform their turntable into a powerful instrument of expression,” Cohen writes as part of a lengthy discussion on hip-hop.
“Hip-hop was also rebellion against several norms of the time, including the overwhelming popularity of disco, which many in the community felt had unjustly overshadowed the recent groundbreaking works of James Brown and other soul impresarios from the 60’s,” he continued.
“Hip-hop was disruptive. Ultimately, to me, it shows that people in any situation have the ability to create something powerful and meaningful. 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.”