The average person has probably never heard of the Roland TR-808 (a.k.a. the “808”) drum machine, but they have almost certainly heard it.
Drum machines have played a crucial role in the history and development of hip-hop music. In the golden age of the genre, they were relatively inexpensive and could simulate various drum sounds. The 808 was unique in that it provided a very low-frequency bass that has become synonymous with hip-hop.
Alex Dunn’s new documentary “808” delves into the history of this influential device. It features interviews from a bevy of beloved artists, including Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys, Questlove, Pharrell, Diplo, and many more. After appearing at numerous festivals, it will finally be available for streaming on December 9 on Apple Music.
You can watch the trailer below.