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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