Google Salutes the Birth of Hip Hop with Interactive Doodle
Style Magazine Newswire | 8/11/2017, 12:14 p.m.
On August 11, 1973, there was a party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx-and four decades later, we're still talking about it. Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 44th anniversary of that party, which is widely credited as the birth of the Hip Hop movement.
To learn more about the Doodle and the movement that inspired it, the Keyword team chatted with three of the Googlers behind the Doodle-Kevin Burke, Ryan Germick and Perla Campos. We also talked with two legendary hip hop pioneers who served as close partners in the project: Fab 5 Freddy, former host of "Yo! MTV Raps" and narrator of the Doodle, and Cey Adams, visual artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records, who designed the Doodle logo mage that you see on the homepage today. Here's what they had to say.
Keyword: How did you come up with the idea for this Doodle?
Kevin: I'm a huge Hip Hop fan. Growing up outside New Orleans, it was a part of my DNA-performing Hip Hop in my high school band, adding Hip Hop to my college radio station's rotation, and working on the set of Outkast's "Ms. Jackson" music video in my first job out of college. Hip Hop has been a constant thread through my life and I wanted to bring my love of it to a Doodle. I developed the concept for interactive turntables, showed it to my manager Ryan (also a fan of Hip Hop), and he lost it. He said, "let's make it tomorrow!"
OK, so people were into the idea. But Hip Hop is such a big topic. How did you decide what to focus on?
Perla: From the beginning, we were thinking big. I mean, Hip Hop touches so many parts of culture but a lot of people don't know much about its origins. So, we anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip Hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement. We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about-shining light on times of history that maybe you didn't know about.
Kevin: It all started with DJ Kool Herc, an 18-year old Jamaican DJ in the Bronx. He and his sister threw a party in August 1973, and when he DJ'd the party, he used two turntables to extend the instrumental break in the music where people did their craziest dance moves (that's actually how "break" dancing got its name!). And the Hip Hop movement was born.
Ryan: With each Doodle, we try to touch a different part of the human experience. But we hadn't yet touched on a massive part of U.S. and global culture-Hip Hop. And by bringing in elements like "Achievements," we can also make it about the real people behind the Hip Hop movement.
Speaking of the real people ... Fab and Cey, how did you feel when you first heard about this project?
Fab: It was a full circle experience for me. 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 likeminded people who were part of the culture. And now, Hip Hop is 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.