Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the birth of hip-hop music 44 years ago, and takes us through the history with our narrator, Fab 5 Freddy.


On August 11, 1973, a DJ named Kool Herc threw a party in the Boogie Down Bronx party, the animation tells us. He used turntables to extend parts so people could dance longer, which introduced the break to music, or scratching the discs on the turntables to lengthen the instrumental parts of each track. This became the origin story of breakdancing as well. While Herc deejayed, his buddy Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd and started the MC tradition.

“We anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip-hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement,” said Perla Campos, a Google employee who worked on the design. “We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about — shining light on time of history that maybe you didn’t know about.”

In the iconic look of New York City graffiti, the doodle then walks us through scratching our own turntables on screen using the computer mouse. They start us off with a sped up version of the Isley Brothers classic “Between the Sheets.” And in classic video game style, the site also offers the opportunity to win achievements or trophies, as Xbox and PlayStation fans know them, by playing different combinations of records.

The animation also includes click-and-drag controls to change the crossfader or the BPM. A crate full of classic vinyls is available to pick from. The music will also stop playing once you switch to a different tab, in a smart move by Google.

Check out the team behind this Google Doodle, and everything that went into putting together here, at the Google Doodle archive website.

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