Google is celebrating the 44th anniversary of hip-hop today with an interactive doodle on its homepage. Kool Herc’s party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx 44 years ago is cited as the crystallization of influences that became known as hip-hop. Google’s keyword team spoke with Kevin Burke, Ryan Germick Perla Campos who are behind the doodle. They also worked with hip-hop legends Fab 5 Freddy who was the first host of Yo! MTV Raps and Def Jam logo creator and visual artist Cey Adams. Check out their story behind the doodle,
Keyword: How did you come up with the idea for this Doodle?
Kevin: I’m a huge Hip Hop fan. Growing up outside New Orleans, it was a part of my DNA-performing Hip Hop in my high school band, adding Hip Hop to my college radio station’s rotation, and working on the set of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” music video in my first job out of college. Hip Hop has been a constant thread through my life and I wanted to bring my love of it to a Doodle. I developed the concept for interactive turntables, showed it to my manager Ryan (also a fan of Hip Hop), and he lost it. He said, “let’s make it tomorrow!”
OK, so people were into the idea. But Hip Hop is such a big topic. How did you decide what to focus on?
Perla: From the beginning, we were thinking big. I mean, Hip Hop touches so many parts of culture but a lot of people don’t know much about its origins. So, we anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip Hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement. We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about-shining light on times of history that maybe you didn’t know about.
Kevin: It all started with DJ Kool Herc, an 18-year old Jamaican DJ in the Bronx. He and his sister threw a party in August 1973, and when he DJ’d the party, he used two turntables to extend the instrumental break in the music where people did their craziest dance moves (that’s actually how “break” dancing got its name!). And the Hip Hop movement was born.
Ryan: With each Doodle, we try to touch a different part of the human experience. But we hadn’t yet touched on a massive part of U.S. and global culture-Hip Hop. And by bringing in elements like “Achievements,” we can also make it about the real people behind the Hip Hop movement.