It was 44 years ago today in the Bronx that a DJ named Kool Herc is credited with inventing one of the most important elements of hip-hop at an Aug. 11, 1973, back to school party in the Bronx: the break. In celebration of that landmark even Google launched its first ever hip-hop inspired Doodle, narrated by the legendary Fab Five Freddy, former host of MTV’s Yo! MTV Raps.
The project, conceived by YouTube’s global head of music, former Warner Bros. boss Lyor Cohen, Freddy, producer Prince Paul, Def Jam Creative Director Cey Adams and Google opens with an animated tour of the history of the break in which Freddy explains who Herc’s innovative use of a cross fader and two turntables to lengthen instrumental breaks gave rise to breakdancing and MCing.
The mini history lesson then gives way to a tutorial from Freddy on how to make a breakbeat, giving users the ability to dip into a crate of classic beats to mix and match rhythms and tempos. Among the options in the mix are three never-before-heard beats from legendary producer Paul, known for his pioneering work with De La Soul, Boogie Down Productions and Stetsasonic. Also in the mix are rhythm tracks from album by Billy Squier, George Clinton, The Isley Brothers, DeBarge, Incredible Bongo Band, The Ohio Players and many more.
The project, which launched at midnight on Friday (Aug. 11) will run for 40 hours.
Click here to go to the Google homepage to start making your own mixes.