Kanye, Rick Rubin Send Bizarre Video for Roland 808 Tribute - Rolling Stone
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Kanye, Rick Rubin Send Bizarre Video for Roland 808 Tribute

The hip-hop star and the record producer deliver an avant-garde tribute to the drum machine at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Disruptive Innovation Awards

Kanye West and Rick Rubin were slated to accept a special award at this year’s Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival on behalf of the Roland TR-808 drum machine — continually one of the most important tools in the arsenals of hip-hop producers. But since the duo couldn’t make it to New York City, famed director Mark Romanek cobbled together a bizarre acceptance video on the pair’s behalf.

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Romanek uses a slew of found footage, from pre-recorded interviews with Rubin and West to archival clips from the film version of Pink Floyd‘s The Wall and vintage Laurel and Hardy, who are shown dancing to West’s “I’m In It.” With his voice dubbed in a foreign tongue, subtitles relay Rubin’s message: “Kanye and I would like to give thanks on behalf of the Roland TR-808 drum machine. It continues to be responsible for new music some 30 years after its release and discontinuation.”

West — in classic, no nonsense form — leaves his note at: “Thank you very much.”

West and Rubin of course famously teamed up on the rapper’s last album, Yeezus, with the veteran producer coming in at the last minute to help West shape and cut down the massive project, which was due in a matter of weeks. Perhaps unsurprisingly Rubin is reportedly helping West on the follow-up to Yeezus, along with A Tribe Called Quest‘s Q-Tip. West plans on releasing the album later this year, recently postponing an Australian tour so he could remain in the studio.


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