Maybe not so much now, but back in the day it was an honor to reference the Roland TR 808 beat machine in your song (Beastie Boys-License To ILL). During the eighties and nineties the 808 was God. The low end you got was immediately recognizable to anyone who listened to hip hop. Living in Orlando Fla in the eighties I grew up listening to bass heavy music like Jam Pony Express, MC Shy-D, 2 Live Crew and Cucci Crew. Then came freestyle acts like Stevie B and The Cover GirlsLater acts like J.J. Fad and Le Tigre bubble gummed it out a bit, but it still rocked. These artist worshipped the 808, but as you’ll see in the video most of these groups weren’t even using the Roalnd 808, but a keyboard that could emulate the 808 sound. Regardless, the 808 drop was the soul reason for owning a car stereo and to this day still is.

Info comes Via Vimeo

The sounds of the Roland TR-808 drum machine inspire musicians around the world, even though the device hasn’t been made since 1984 and most of its avid users have never actually seen one.

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Check out more films in the Focus Forward series at vimeo.com/focusforwardfilms.

Urban Romances, LLC

DIRECTED BY – Nelson George
PRODUCED BY – Nicole Nelch
WRITER/CAMERA/NARRATION – Nelson George
EDITING/CAMERA/MUSIC/NARRATION/VOICEOVER – Robert O’Bryant


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