Google Doodle was feeling the hip-hop beat on Friday.
The search engine paid tribute to the music genre born on the streets of the Bronx in the early 1970s with an interactive mix board. Searchers who clicked into the doodle were greeted by a cartooned version of former “Yo! MTV Raps” host Fab 5 Freddy, who took them back in time to Aug. 11, 1973.
The date marked the 44th anniversary of DJ Kool Herc’s discovery of the instrumental “breaks” — or hot parts of a track — that became the foundation for the music genre. Using two turntables during a back-to-school block party at 1520 Sedgwick Ave., Herc repeated the same part of a song multiple times, allowing the audience to dance to the “break” longer. His style was adapted and expanded upon throughout the decade by the genre’s other pioneers, Grandmaster Flash, Bam and DJ Breakout.
“Today, we acknowledge and celebrate a cultural revolution,” Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, said in a guest blog post on Google.com. “The progression of this culture and sound – from Kool Herc spinning James Brown breaks at a block party to Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Drake being some of the biggest forces in music 44 years later – is something that few people at that first party could have anticipated.”
After sitting through a mini history lesson with Freddy, users were able to create their own sound on a mini turntable. The virtual record bin featured dozens of popular vinyl tracks that was sure to make any music enthusiast envious. The Winstons’ “Amen Brother” released in 1969 and Betty Wright’s 1972 hit “I Love the Way You Love” were present in the bin.
DJ Questlove was among the searchers who were reminded of the Boogie Down Bronx’s music influence when they visited the site’s homepage.
“Mad respect to @GoogleDoodle for acknowledging the culture and the pioneers of #Grafiti #Breakdancing #MCn #DJn (and all the other stops in between),” Questlove wrote on Instagram alongside photos of the doodle.