My twenty-four blades glistenin’, and my 808 kickin’ T.I. – Top Back
You do not have to read many of posts at Deep-Sea News or Science of the South to realize my love of hip-hop and rap. Especially Southern hip-hop and rap. If you haven’t already do check out Ben Westhoff’s book Dirty South. A key to the southern sound is the TR-808. Introduced in the 80’s the 808 was the first programmable drum machine. The machine’s cheapness, $1195, and ease of use lead to its popularity. As I begin to research Southern music, a common theme is the emphasis on sound produced by inexpensive or homemade instruments. It seems this theme continues to Dirty South.
You know the sound of the TR-808. It’s featured in more hit songs than any other drum machine. It was literally the sound of the 80’s. All those synthed beats in Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s Planet Rock are courtesy of the 808.
Many sounds of the 808 are just so iconic. The deep bass, kick drum. The tinny handclaps. The ticky snare. The tishy high hat. That spacey cowbell. The video below nicely highlights all of the 16 programmable sounds.
Speakerbox vibrate the tank, make it sound like aluminum cans in the back
But I know y’all wanted that 808 can you feel that B-A-S-S, bass
From Memphis, the Three 6 Mafia’s Stay Fly also greatly reflects the fast temp of the 808. So does their Poppin’ my Collar.