JazzTimes

808 State

he Roland corporation of Japan only manufactured its TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine for three years, from 1980 to 1983, but that short time was long enough to alter the course of music. Although it was originally intended as a basic tool for songwriters, the 808 was soon adopted by the producers of a rising new style: hip-hop. In 1982, rapper Afrika Bambaataa used it to generate the futuristic rhythm of his hugely influential single “Planet Rock,” setting in in tribute to the machine).

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