On August 8, 2020— otherwise known as 808 day— Roland celebrated the 40th anniversary of the most influential drum machine of all time, theTR-808. Every year the global music community salutes the TR-808 with artists paying homage to the machine that Grammy-winning producer Terry Lewis says, “put the boom in music.”
Introduced in 1980, the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was one of the first affordable, programmable, and widely available drum machines to hit the market. Despite only having been in production for three years, its signature kick and snare—along with many other unique sounds—became the tonal anchor for the hip hop and techno movements from the mid-80s onward. The instrument has been embraced by artists and producers of many genres and is commonly referred to as “the 808.” Its very distinctive sound can be heard in thousands of dance tracks and hit records over the years. It’s also directly referenced in the lyrics of numerous songs over the last few decades.
In 2020, Roland Lifestyle paid respect to the TR-808 Drum Machine by collaborating with our good friends at Los Angeles based streetwear brand: PLEASURES. Roland and Pleasures worked together to create a capsule collection celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 808.
Moreover, the 808 limited run collection was released on 909 day, which encompassed Pleasures’ signature rebellious style. It featured five unique pieces of clothing that highlighted the functions and beautiful design of Roland’s iconic beat making machine.
Three of the styles were sold out within the first 24 hours, with the other two styles selling out moments later. I think it’s safe to say if you didn’t get your hands on these pieces, then you completely missed out.