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On the Road: 4-8/9-12 Hip-Hop Technology: From Turntables to Computers



Hip-Hop Technology: From Turntables to Computers

Suggested Grade Level: 4-8/9-12

This research guide serves as a resource for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Education Department course, Hip-Hop Technology: From Turntables to Computers. For additional information on the course and for more teacher resources, see

Since its inception in the early 1970s, hip-hop culture has become one of the most important forms of expression for young people on the planet. This class allows students to experience the ways that technology is incorporated into hip-hop music and culture. Students will explore the early innovations of hip-hop deejays and the development of classic turntable techniques like “playing the break,” as heard in “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. The class includes a live demonstration in which students help to create a new musical composition using the latest computer music software. Don’t miss this chance to learn about the creation of hip-hop music and culture and gain insight into the world of music technology and production.

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For Your Students

Rock Hall Video

Rapper LL Cool J talks backstage at the 2012 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, reflecting on the Beastie Boys and how hip hop artists love rock and roll -- from AC/DC to Billy Squier.

Chuck D. of Public Enemy reflects on the Beastie Boys induction into the Hall of Fame and the connections between rock and hip hop.

?uestlove of the Roots discusses his connection with 2012 Hall of Fame inductees the Beastie Boys.

2009 inductee Rev Run of Run-DMC discusses what it was like to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and his impressions of 2013 inductees Public Enemy.


These resources, pulled from class discussion and selected from the Library and Archives' collections, will help you to:

  • Describe how social events influenced the development of hip-hop culture
  • Identify technological innovations in hip-hop and their contributions to the development of hip-hop music.
  • Give examples of ways that computers enable musicians to play, create, and store music.




Archival Resources

New to Archives? Check out:

YouTube Videos

Rock Hall Interviews Funkmaster Flex

The Sugarhill Gang, "Rapper's Delight"

Kurtis Blow, "The Breaks," Soul Train

Chic, "Good Times," Tilt, 1979

Public Enemy, "Fight The Power"
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives
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