On August 11th, 1973 DJ Kool Herc threw a party that we’ve been going to ever since. In its 44 year lifespan, hip-hop has invented and reinvented itself many times, with one staple remaining true: Hip-hop is a voice for culture and change. To commemorate the 44th anniversary, Google’s homepage Doodle is a crash course in working the turntables.
The lessons are guided by a cartoon-ified version of the legendary Fab 5 Freddy. The logo itself was designed by Cey Adams, who was also the founding creative director at Def Jam records. In an interview with The Keyword, both Cey and Fab, and the Googlers responsible for making this Doodle sat down to explain the making of the Doodle.
The team explains that the idea for interactive turntables was an instant hit, and narrowing down which aspect of hip-hop to spotlight in the Doodle was not much more difficult. As Perla details in the interview, the genre is massive, but many casual and new fans don’t know about its rich history. The Doodle was a means “to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement… to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve,” Perla says. Perla and the team continue to explain that they were also conscious of including the women who pioneered the genre.
The Doodle is a total nostalgia trip, with a record crate section in which you can sift through all of your favorite samples, and discover the backbones to some of your favorite classic tracks. The interview goes on to detail the Googlers’ earliest hip-hop memories, as well as Cey and Fab’s.
Towards the end of the interview, Fab gives his sage view on the evolution of hip-hop: “I don’t like to think of old school vs. new school, I’m a “now school” person. Hip Hop marches on—it will always reinvent itself.”
In terms of engaging storytelling, education, and doing the genre justice, this Doodle hits the nail on all criteria. Check out the Doodle and make your own break. If you’re interested in a more in-depth hip-hop history lesson, we’ve got you covered with some book recommendations:
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop by Jeff Chang
The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose
The Rap Year Book by Shea Serrano