Google cre­ates epic mu­si­cal Doo­dle to hon­our hip-hop

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - MICHAEL CAVNA The Washington Post

The dawn of hip-hop can be traced to a fate­ful Bronx back-to-school party in Au­gust 1973, so to cel­e­brate the sym­bolic 44th birth­day Fri­day, Google has teamed with two superstars to pro­vide an epic global in­ter­ac­tive jam.

Team Google Doo­dle in­cludes life­long fans and its artists and engi­neers reached east to the leg­endary graphic artist and de­signer Cey Adams and the pi­o­neer­ing artist/ host Fab 5 Freddy to cre­ate the tech ti­tan’s dopest and most daz­zling work of in­ter­ac­tive art yet.

To land the graf­fiti-art as­pect of Fri­day’s Doo­dle, the team trav­elled to the New York stu­dio of Adams, the bril­liant Def Jam cre­ative di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble for the looks of decades of iconic al­bum cov­ers, lo­gos and ad cam­paigns.

Adams emerged from New York’s graf­fiti move­ment along­side Basquiat and Har­ing, and so lived first­hand how such vis­ual art in­ter­twined with the rise of rap.

“First and fore­most, the (vis­ual) art com­po­nent pre­dates the other art forms,” Adams says. “Cer­tainly mu­sic has been around, but when it comes to graf­fiti — that’s been around since the late ’60s. It was a thing unto it­self, that had its own move­ment.”

Google wanted to cre­ate a Doo­dle that also tapped hip-hop’s mu­si­cal roots, so they trav­elled, too, to 1520 Sedg­wick Ave. in the Bronx, where the Ja­maican-born teenager DJ Kool Herc first played the in­stru­men­tal “breaks” of songs at that famed back-to-school jam.

The Bay Area-based team also tapped the tal­ents of Lyor Co­hen, the global head of mu­sic for Google­owned YouTube and the for­mer Def Jam pres­i­dent. Co­hen says on Google’s blog that hip-hop “shows that peo­ple in any sit­u­a­tion have the abil­ity to cre­ate some­thing pow­er­ful and mean­ing­ful. 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.”


Google’s mu­si­cal Doo­dle kicks off 44th birth­day jam of hip-hop.

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