All of a sudden, social media started popping.
“Did anyone see the Google landing page?” my friends were asking in post after post after post.
So I clicked.
And — insert heavenly beat-heavy music here — there it was. It seems Aug. 11 is the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop.
Go to Google’s landing page, and up pops its colorful logo written in graffiti on a brick wall. The words are thumping, begging you to click “play.” As soon as you do, up pops a cartoon of the forever chatty Fab Five Freddy, an early hip-hop pioneer and the original host of Yo! MTV Raps, who puts us down with the fact that in 1973, at a back-to-school party in the Bronx, D.J. Kool Herc extended the instrumental beat while he spun his record. That technique quickly became known as “the break.” Emcees eventually started rhyming during the break, while sweatsuit-clad revelers performed acrobatics on sheets of cardboard to entertain partygoers. That became break-dancing.
Here comes the best part. After the quick lesson in hip-hop history, a crate appears with several classic 12-inch singles from back in the day, like “Stay With Me” by Debarge, “Boom, Boom, Boom” by Soul Makossa, and the Isley Brothers’ “Between the Sheets.” And after the tutorial, you can blend, scratch, and fade in your own beats with Fab Five Freddy egging you on. I already knew a lot of these songs from dancing to hip-hop for the last 20 something years. You know the beats, you know the songs, but you don’t know the names.
And I get to be a DJ without any of the talent: I’ve already blended “Stay with Me” with Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman,” and Zapp’s “More Bounce to the Ounce.”
I have to stop this trip down memory lane now because I have to work.
You, however, should give it a try.