Forty-four years ago today DJ Kool Herc threw a party in the
Bronx and decided he wanted to change up the sound.
He played only the instrumental sections or “breaks” from full
songs and had his friend Coke La Rock hype the crowd through the
mic. The partygoers went nuts and modern day hip-hop was born.
Google on Friday is honoring that night with an interactive
Google Doodle that celebrates the hip-hop movement’s origins and
The new doodle was designed by Cey Adams, the legendary graffiti
artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records. Adams
said he was excited by the opportunity to put
a graffiti-style logo on the Google homepage and have it be
seen by people all over the world.
Graffiti is sometimes associated with vandalism. When he was just
getting started, Adams said it was difficult to get the message
across that he was an artist and not a vandal.
The two O’s in the new Google Doodle are turntables and
allude to the ones Kool Herc, whose real name is Clive
Campbell, used the night of the pioneering party. Users can click
them for a chance to mix their own samples from legendary Hip-Hop
The team behind the new logo spent time researching and talking
to early pioneers of Hip-Hop to narrow down which artists to
include. Fab 5 Freddy, the former host of the ’90s era show “Yo!
MTV Raps,” narrates the whole experience, interweaving history
and culture into the design.
Perla Campos, one of the Googlers who worked on the Doodle, said
it was one of the most technologically challenging designs she
and her team have worked on because of all the voices and
collaborators they wanted to include. The engineers wanted to do
justice to the important role hip-hop plays in people’s lives
while shedding light on the genre’s diversity.
Adams’ goal with the design was to give visitors to the Google
homepage a sort of hip-hop education. He also wanted to shed
light on some of the historical and cultural aspects of the music
that often get ignored in the face of more negative
Head over to the Google homepage and click the turntables to try
it out for yourself.