Washington: Forty-four years ago, hip-hop as we know it was born at a party in the Bronx when DJ Kool Herc used two turntables to isolate and extend the breakbeat of a song, inspiring people to cut loose on the dance floor. In honor of that landmark get-together at 1520 Sedgwick Ave., Google is marking the anniversary with an in-depth interactive Google Doodle.
Running globally for the next 40 hours, the doodle features an intro and a turntable tutorial both narrated by Fab 5 Freddy (the former host of Yo! MTV Raps), a pair of interactive turntables with a virtual record crate full of iconic samples, and unlockable achievements highlighting hip-hop’s early pioneers. Discussing the project in a Google blog post, Freddy said it brought him back, and also gave him perspective on how far hip-hop has come.
“It was a full-circle experience for me,” he said. “I first went online in 1994 — I even remember doing a segment on Yo! MTV Raps about email. And going back to when I first got on the internet, I was looking for people who were of a like mind who were part of the culture. And now, to see hip-hop on one of the biggest digital platforms out there, in a way that acknowledges and recognizes what this culture is, and what it continues to be. It’s pretty amazing.”