In 1980, Roland released the TR-808, which would go on to become one of the most important drum machines of all time. On August 8 (8/08), musicians worldwide celebrate the 808, sometimes noted as being “as important to hip-hop as the Fender Stratocaster was to the development of rock music.”

Like many misunderstood geniuses, the TR-808 was not a commercial hit when it was first released, being that electronic music was still mostly growing underground and many criticized the 808 for having unrealistic drum sounds. Funny enough now, the 808 has created its own identity as a drum sound.

Unfortunately the machine was discontinued in 1983, but its legacy was only JUST beginning. While the 808 flourished first in hip hop and electronic music, it soon became an indelible part of pop music and beyond. As a college of contemporary music, Musicians Institute recognizes the diversity of musical genres, and how often they influence each other. MI has many classes in the Electronic Music Production and Independent Artist programs that highlight the importance of production concepts, track building, sound design & synthesis, beat-making, plugin processing, mixing and mastering.

To celebrate #808Day, we made a list of 7 classic songs made using the TR-808, that helped solidify its status as one of the most important innovations in popular music.

1. Marvin Gaye- “Sexual Healing”


2. Afrika Bambaataa- “Party Rock”


3. Egyptian Lover- “Egypt, Egypt”


4. Whitney Houston- “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”


5. Run DMC- “It’s Tricky”


6. Outkast- “The Way You Move”


7. Kanye West- “Love Lockdown”


Musicians Institute is the leader in contemporary music education offering certificates to Masters degrees in programs spanning instrument performance, electronic production, music business, and everything in between.

For more information on all programs offered, please visit here:

For more information on MI Online programs, please visit here:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This