The Disruptive Innovation Awards at this year’s Tribeca film festival honored one of the most important pieces of equipment in music (especially hip-hop and dance music) production, the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Kanye West and Rick Rubin were slated to accept the award on behalf of the drum machine but unfortunately could not attend, so director Mark Romanek put together the truly bizarre clip above.
Because why would you not want to see Laurel and Hardy dancing to “I’m In It?”
From Craig Hatkoff, curator of the Disruptive Innovation Awards:
Two years ago Rick, who was not able to attend to receive his award as a major disruptive force in the music business, instead made an outrageously smart video-acceptance speech— a brilliantly crafted homage to the Academy Award winning “The Artist”—complete with a done-to-perfection, scratchily authentic look and feel. In the subtitles, Rick states in terse, Hemingway style that, quite simply, he has always been disruptive. It was so smart and funny it brought the house down.
So this year, in lieu of appearing at the awards, Rick and Kanye worked with another disruptive genius—film and music video legend Mark Romanek—to come up with an even more ingenious 808 acceptance speech. It was hard to figure out exactly who to thank for bringing the 808 its immortality 30 years after it has been discontinued, but I think we nailed it with our selection of these honorees.