(L-R, Coke La Rock, DJ Kool Herc) Johnny Nunez/WireImageToday, wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care as you wish hip hop a Happy Birthday.
According to today’s Google Doodle, today marks 44 years since the birth of what is arguably today’s most popular and influential musical genre. According to Google, on August 11, 1973, 18-year-old DJ Kool Herc threw a party in the Bronx, NY, but instead of playing the full versions of songs at the event, he decided to only play the instrumental sections, or “breaks.”
While the breaks were playing, Google says, Herc’s friend Coke La Rock got on the mic to hype up the crowd, effectively inventing hip hop as we know it.
Today’s Google Doodle features interactive turntables on which you can mix samples from classic tracks, and a custom graphic created by Cey Adams, a famed graffiti artist. The experience is narrated by the one and only Fab 5 Freddy of Yo! MTV Raps fame.
Lyor Cohen, the former head of Def Jam Records and current Global Head of Music for You Tube, tells Google, “It should be noted that early hip hop stood against the violence and drug culture that pervaded the time. My dear friend and first client Kurtis Blow once said ‘On one side of the street, big buildings would be burning down…while kids on the other side would be putting up graffiti messages like, “Up with Hope. Down with Dope,” “I Will Survive” and “Lord, Show Me the Way!”‘”.
Adds Cohen, “The messages of resilience unified a community of people and were the backdrop of hip hop’s beginnings.”
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