Home Entertainment Google celebrates birth of Hip Hop with history-telling interactive doodle

Google celebrates birth of Hip Hop with history-telling interactive doodle


The guys behind Google Doodle have moved things up a bit with a new one on their homepage today, which honours the 44th anniversary of Hip-Hop.

Forty-four years ago today, the one and only DJ Kool Herc threw a party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx and changed the sound of music forever – and Google has decided to tell the story with a doodle that allows anyone to play DJ for a few minutes.

The new doodle was designed by Cey Adams, the veteran graffiti artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records. It’s a graffiti-style interactive doodle which starts off with a brief introduction from Fab 5 Freddy, the former host of the ’90s era hit show Yo! MTV Raps.

It then lets you become a DJ yourself by creating a turntable full of classic records. You can choose samples of classic songs from artists like George Clinton, The Isley Brothers and Billy Squire, and mix them by switching the slider left or right.

Google’s Ryan Germick said in a statement: “There’s a lot that went into figuring out what bitrate of audio you needed to scratch records, how to sync up the beats correctly, and the complexities around animations were firsts for us.

“We’ve never done a Doodle like this before, both because of the technical challenges and the many voices and collaborators we wanted to include,” added Perla Campos, who also worked on the Doodle at Google.

Running globally for the next 40 hours, the doodle features a pair of interactive turntables with a virtual record crate full of iconic samples, and unlockable achievements highlighting hip-hop’s early pioneers.

Discussing the project in a Google blog post, Freddy said it brought him back, and also gave him perspective on how far hip-hop has come.

“It was a full-circle experience for me,” he said. “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 people who were of a like mind who were part of the culture. And now, to see hip-hop 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.”