Pharrell, Questlove, and More Talk About The 808’s Influence In New Documentary


(AllHipHop News) The story of the influential Roland TR-808 drum machine will finally make its way to screens this December, when the movie is released via Apple Music.

Roland’s TR-808 provided the rhythm for countless dance, electronic and Hip-Hop tracks soon after it was invented in the early 80’s.

Soon, the sounds of the drum machine started popping up in records by early adopters like Rick James, Marvin Gaye and Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force.

“This is it! After nearly 5 years of work ‘808’ is coming out,” said Alex Noyer, who directed the flick as CEO of You Know Films. “Our audience’s support throughout has been incredible and thanks to our amazing partners we can finally celebrate this awe-inspiring piece of music history. I must thank my incredible team for their hard work, commitment and perseverance throughout.”

The documentary is narrated by Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, with extra commentary from Pharrell Williams, Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, The Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Diplo, New Order, and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim).

Pioneering producers like Rick Rubin, Jellybean Benitez, Hank Shocklee, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis are also interviewed about the influence of the Roland TR-808.

“I love this film. The 808 has left an impactful mark on my life. It’s been the driving force for so many of my favorite records, and I jumped at the chance to be involved,” said Zane Lowe. “I wanted to learn more about how this incredible drum machine came to exist, and it’s been exciting to hear other people’s stories and what it means to them. It’s the magic ingredient.”

The filmmaker’s three-year-journey concludes in the 808’s birthplace of Japan, where Roland founder Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi at last reveals the untold reason for the machine’s mysterious early discontinuation, just as it was turning up on more hit records than any other drum machine.

The feature length documentary will be first released worldwide exclusively via Apple Music on Friday, December 9th before being available on the iTunes Store a week later.