By Khylen Steward

As Apple Music’s first exclusive full-length feature, 808 does not disappoint. With interviews from music industry titans such as Rick Rubin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Phil Collins, Hank Shocklee and more, the film is a delightfully diverse, in-depth look at the making and subsequent influence of the now iconic limited edition Roland TR-808 drum machine. The machine’s grasp on music and many of the hits we love and grew up on is undeniable. As someone who largely associated the 808 with hip-hop, it was fantastic to be reminded that the 808’s use and power flourished in other genres as well.

For the average music listener, 808 is an engaging educational ride. It is perhaps constructed and tailored to audiophiles (who will no doubt get the biggest kick out of it), but does not go so deep and specific that those of us who are not producers, DJs and/or label people cannot fully understand the information that is being conveyed.

It is a fascinating story and if you are at all interested in music history, I highly recommend it.

808 is now available exclusively via Apple Music.

The 808 has been a popular topic of discussion this year. Check out this page from the Red Bull Music Academy as well as the truly excellent PBS documentary series, Soundbreaking, for more great information on the drum machine.


To talk more film, you can follow + tweet me on the Twitter RIGHT CHEA.

– Khylen Steward, CBS Local


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