All Hail the Beat' celebrates a rhythm machine deemed obsolete in 1984 but still influential until to this day. The Roland TR-808 existed from 1980 to 1984. In that brief time span it was embraced by hip hop and helped inspire the creation of new dance music genres (electro boogie, techno) as we hear in testimony from innovators D-Nice, formerly of Boogie Down Productions, Arthur Baker, producer of the classic "Planet Rock" for Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force, and Juan Atkins, credited with creating the Detroit techno sound. Editor Waajeed, who is also a well known hip hop producer himself, has created a sonic tapestry of 808 beats that runs underneath the film, as if the device itself is giving commentary on its history.
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