“Planet Rock” was the first hip-hop song to use the Roland TR-808 beat and also revolutionary because it combined two relatively new styles of music—hip-hop and electronic music—into a smash hit in both the US and UK, thanks in-part to borrowing from the German band Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express” and “Numbers.”
Legendary hip-hop producer Rick Rubin praised the groundbreaking 1982 track:
[‘Planet Rock’ is] one of the most influential songs of everything. It changed the world.
I remember the entire NYC area electrified by this record. Lines surrounding Bonds International in Times Square and the E.T. dance went perfect to it. It was only fitting that the master of records, DJ Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force, ushered in the current legacy of what the Zulu Nation brought to the rap-recording scene. This combo of Arthur Baker and Bam are the seeds of the Miami bass hip-hop south and from this, dirty and crunk.