What is 808s and Jazz Breaks?

808s and Jazz Breaks is an online music journal exploring musical genres including, but not limited to, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rap, Gospel, R&B, Rock, and Blues. The goal of 808s and Jazz Breaks is to discuss, critique, and deconstruct both the artist and the art that is produced.  

Where did the name “808s and Jazz Breaks” come from?

The name "808s and Jazz Breaks" is derived from an interest in hip-hop, trap, and jazz. The 808 - formally known as the Roland TR-808 - is an electronic drum machine that has been widely used in Pop music since the 1980s. Spanning from Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing to Beyoncé’s Déjà vu; from Thomas Rhett’s South Side to Future’s Dirty Sprite 2, the drum machine has been widely used across contemporary rap, jazz, country and popular music. The 808-drum machine has become almost synonymous with the sound of today’s music. 

A jazz break is a technique often employed that allows the lead – i.e. "frontman" - an opportunity to solo, temporarily stopping the music. This technique was made famous by Jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. Moreover, this journal serves as the break from the music where we stop, step away from the music, and deconstruct what’s been given to us as both consumers and fans of music.