Category Archives: Hip Hop Artifacts

AKAI and the Beat Machine that influenced Hip Hop


Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1929, AKAI is the brand responsible for the creation of the MPC (Originally Midi but now known as the Music Production Controller) designed by Roger Linn. In 1988, the machine hit the market creating a new force of power for producers throughout the world. HIP HOP producers like Pete Rock, J Dilla, DJ Premier, Large Professor and Dr. Dre make up just a few of the names that used the controller.  The feature producers loved so much was the combining of a powerful MIDI sequencer with the ability to sample one’s own sounds.  Many of the songs composed on the MPC would now be considered classics.

The MPC has been recreated in many forms today by other brands. Many of them are strictly MIDI devices but they have grown in popularity because of the much lower cost.

This machine created an entire workflow that majorly contributed to what HIP HOP heads call  that”Boom Bap” sound.

dj premier studio

Photo:  DJ Premier’s Studio at D&D in 2000

Editorial by Jermaine Fletcher