Google Tapped Musical Legends to Help Create Its First-Ever Hip Hop Doodle

Fab 5 Freddy, Lyor Cohen and Prince Paul Contributed to Brand's Homage to the Musical Genre

Published On
Aug 11, 2017

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44 years ago today, the entrance fee to DJ Kool Herc's "Back to School Jam" was 25 cents for ladies and 50 cents for guys -- a steal considering the all-night party, held in a west Bronx apartment building, would prove to be a historic one, birthing what we now know as hip hop.

To celebrate the anniversary of the iconic bash -- plus the music and culture it spawned -- Google has debuted a multi-faceted doodle commemorating hip hop -- the first of its more than 2,000 specialty nameplates to do so.

Google worked with hip hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy (a.k.a. Fred Brathwaite) and the brand's Universal Head of Music Lyor Cohen, a music industry vet who produced hip hop acts for more than three decades, to conceive the doodle. Production shop Decon and media company Mass Appeal also collaborated on the effort.

Running globally over 48 hours, it opens with an animated video featuring Fab 5 Freddy, who revisits the early days of hip hop and then invites users to flip through a digital record rate and play iconic samples on an interactive turntables. Playing with the DJ set unlocks "achievements," which manifest in informative slides on some of the genre's most legendary individuals: Grand Master Caz, Roxanne Shante, Run DMC, and more.

Google also tapped hip hop producer Prince Paul (a.k.a. Paul Huston), to create three new beats for the platform. Each sample is 110 beats per minute, and Prince Paul's are available alongside other classics like Michael Viner's "Incredible Bongo Band."

"They threw some stuff in there that was like, wow, only hip hop heads know what this is," Prince Paul says. "They tackle some pretty real stuff."

One of the initiative's goals is to bridge the divide between younger hip hop fans and those of past generations.

"My son DJs for Lil Uzi Vert -- and he's my son -- so he knows practically everything," says Prince Paul. "But a lot of kids in his era don't know about the origins. Some don't even care."

Forty-four years after the creation of hip hop, Google is hoping to change that.

Credits

Date
Aug 11, 2017
Agency:
Mass Appeal
Chief Executive Offier:
Peter Bittenbender
Partner:
Peter Bittenbender
Account Director:
Jon Colclough
Agency Producer:
Brette Graber
Project Manager:
Thea Landehagen Gulbrandsen
Legal Counsel:
Jenna Kon
Director, Archival Research:
Vanessa Maruskin
Archival Producer:
Stephanie Bencin
Executive Editor:
Rob Kenner
Marketing and PR:
Annie Chen
Marketing and PR:
Roberta Magrini
Producer:
Harrison Corwin
Creative:
Kevin Burke
UX Lead:
Kevin Burke
Animator:
Kevin Burke
Musician:
Kevin Burke
Art Producer:
Pedro Vergani
Animation Lead:
Pedro Vergani
Designer:
Hélène Leroux
Animator:
Hélène Leroux
Team Lead:
Ryan Germick
Engineer Lead:
David Lu
Engineer Support:
Jordan Thompson
Engineer Support:
Mark Ivey
Engineer Support:
Kris Hom
Engineer Support:
Chris Wilson
Engineer Manager:
Ben McMahan
Partnership:
Perla Campos
Marketing:
Perla Campos
Licensing Lead:
Perla Campos
Program Manager:
Gregory Capuano
User Testing Lead:
Gregory Capuano
Writing:
Jorteh Senah
Writing:
Matthue Roth
Licensing:
Jay Komas
Licensing:
Jill Trainor
Licensing:
Joy Edgar
Licensing:
Thomas Breslin
UX Research:
Melinda Klayman
Sound Engineer:
Nick Zammuto
PR:
Susan Cadrecha
PR:
Marni Greenberg
Web:
Yotam Mann
Web:
Chris Wilson
Design and Animation:
Matt Cruickshank
Animation:
Olivia Huynh
Art Producer:
Brian Kaas
Executive Consultant:
Lyor Cohen
Guest Artist:
Cey Adams
Host:
Fab 5 Freddy
Guest Musician:
Prince Paul
Creative Consultant:
Sal Abbatiello
Creative Consultant:
Mickey Abbatiello
Creative Consultant:
Steve Stoute
Agency Partner:
Mass Appeal
Agency Partner:
DMG Clearances
Agency Partner:
Translation
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
DJ Kool Herc
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Grand Wizzard Theodore
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
The Sequence
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Grandmaster Caz
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Richard Colón (AKA Crazy Legs)
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Roxanne Shanté
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Grandmaster Flash
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
RUN DMC
Hip Hop Pioneer Participant:
Sylvia Robinson
Video Music Box Licensing:
A Tribe Called Quest
Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker/Getty:
Bronx Rap
Production Company:
Style Wars
Janette Beckman:
Salt N Pepa

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Project Type