You be the DJ: Interactive Google Doodle celebrates hip-hop’s birthday

WASHINGTON — Google is marking hip-hop’s 44th birthday by allowing users to mix their own beats right on the search engine’s homepage.

Friday’s Google Doodle features a graffiti-style Google logo with a play button that’s just a click away from a quick history lesson on hip-hop history before the hands-on learning.

Narrated by an animated Fab 5 Freddy, a former host of “Yo! MTV Raps” and a trailblazer in the hip-hop genre, the short video highlights the unknown history of the cultural and musical movement.

“We anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip-hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement,” said Perla Campos, one of the people behind Friday’s doodle.

“We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about — shining light on time of history that maybe you didn’t know about.”

So why is Aug. 11 considered the birth of hip-hop?

According to the video, in 1973 at a party in the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc first used two turntables to extend the instrumental music break that allowed people to dance a little longer, which is where break dancing originated. This brought about the introduction of an MC, who rhymed over the music.

And on Friday, Google users can use two turntables themselves to mix from the “record crate” full of samples, including The Isley Brothers, The Lafayette Afro Rock Band, Prince Paul and more, that were used when the genre was just in its early stages.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up