The hip-hop icons were not able to attend an awards ceremony, so they teamed with famed video director Mark Romanek instead.
West and Rubin were tabbed to accept a special award on behalf of the Roland TR-808 at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, but couldn’t make it to New York City for the ceremony. Instead, Romanek assembled a found-footage clip that smashes together Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Laurel and Hardy, Kanye’s ‘I’m In It’ and TR-808 stock footage. West and Rubin appear as clips from archival interviews, dubbed in Japanese.
“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,” Rubin “says” via subtitles, while Kanye adds, “Thank you very much.”
West and Rubin aren’t strangers when it comes to the TR-808, between Rubin’s groundbreaking hip-hop work in the 80s or Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak. For more on the 808, read FACT’s guide to everything you wanted to know about it but were afraid to ask.