Kanye West and famed producer and Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin will be recognized during the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, taking place Friday, April 25 at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts.
The duo are actually accepting an award on behalf of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, a piece of 1980s technology whose deep kick drum sound launched a thousand hits — including many early hip-hop hits produced by Rubin — and which lends its name to West’s fourth album, 808’s & Heartbreak.
“It was hard to figure out exactly who to thank for bringing the 808 its immortality 30 years after it has been discontinued, but I think we nailed it with our selection of these honorees,” Craig Hatkoff, chief curator of the awards and co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, wrote on the event’s website.
Although the pair will not be on hand to accept the award, they’ve teamed with filmmaker Mark Romanek to produce an acceptance video that has been posted to the awards event’s website.
“Kanye and I would like to give thanks on behalf of the Roland TR-808 drum machine,” explains Rubin in the clip. “It continues to be responsible for new music some thirty years after its release and discontinuation.”
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