Today’s Google Doodle celebrates an essential nugget of Hip-Hop history.
The backstory of August 11, 1973 is that it marks the day the legendary DJ Kool Herc invented the concept of the “break” during a back-to-school party he threw in New York City’s Bronx borough.
Instead of playing a record in full, Herc created a technique in which the instrumental–or “break”–could be played longer. As his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd, and dancers took to the floor, Hip-Hop was born.
In a doodle that is the first of its kind, Google commemorates this special moment with an interactive tutorial that allows users to create some Hip-Hop magic of their own.
The doodle, designed by artist Cey Adams, is a fitting graffiti graphic that turns into an virtual turntable when the center is clicked.
Google recruits Hip-Hop culture icon Fab 5 Freddy, well-known as the host of Yo! MTV Raps, to break down the process of selecting records from a crate of some of Hip-Hop’s most definitve samples, and mastering the fader.
Users are tasked with accomplishing various goals that include scratching a record, playing two records in the same key, and pausing a record.
With each completed goal, you are gifted with Hip-Hop trivia that brings to light the efforts of the likes of Sylvia Robinson, CEO/Founder of Sugarhill Records, Grand Wizzard Theodore who popularized the art of scratching, and Sal Abbatiello, the owner of the Disco Fever club.
“Hip Hop has done exactly what its founders set out to do, whether wittingly or unwittingly,” writes Lyor Cohen, former head of Def Jam and Youtube’s Global Head of Music. “It placed an accessible culture, relatable to any marginalized group in the world, at the forefront of music. In that spirit, here’s to BILLIONS of people getting a brief reminder that ‘Yes, yes y’all! And it WON’T stop!’”