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Hot List Hits and Misses: The 808 Drum Machine and Don Piper

December 1, 2008 1:17 PM ET

The Hot List has been a Rolling Stone tradition since 1986. All this week, Rock Daily takes a look back at the people and trends that stayed smoking and the ones that cooled off. Today, we flash back a decade ago to 1998.

Hit: The 808 drum machine. Called out ten years ago because of a call-out in the Beastie Boys' "Super Disco Breakin'" and a swell of underground dance acts like Basement Jaxx bubbling up into the mainstream, the 808 was enjoying a revival and remains a go-to box for any hip-hop heads seeking a heavy, glitchy, scratchy drum sound. As Rolling Stone wrote, the 808 is "essentially the drum in drum-and-bass." Kanye West loves the 808 so much that he named his latest album after the machine.

Miss: Don Piper. Named "Hot Singer-Songwriter" because of his EP A Don Piper Situation, Piper was a self-described "mod" who channeled Harry Nilsson, John Lennon and Alex Chilton. Though he sparked a major-label bidding war (won by Capitol), his full length never got released on the label. Piper cotinues to release albums himself.

Related Stories:
The 2008 Hot List
Album Review: Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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