Roland Celebrates The 808 on 8/08

It’s the eighth of August, a special day for lovers of old school drum machines and jokes about dates. Calendar-minded analog beat fans have traditionally celebrating the legacy of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, aka the 808, by blasting old school rap songs featuring the 808’s bone-rattling bass sound and dance-floor moving claps and snare sounds like The Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” or T La Rock’s “It’s Yours.”

But Roland’s gone a step further this year.

Today, the electronic music maker released a video featuring producers Rashad Smith, Iz Avila and Larry Smith Jr. talking about Smith’s groundbreaking use of the 808 on the music he produced with Run DMC and Whodini while in the presence of Smith’s personal TR-808. The legacy of the legendary machine is then brought to life as 1500 Sound Academy students reverse engineer a beat and reanimate it on the original TR-808 it was created on.