Google creates epic musical Doodle to honour hip-hop
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.