Puma Pays Tribute to the Drum Machine That Forever Changed Music

The Roland TR-808 laid the foundation for modern hip-hop and electronic music.

Some of your favorite songs and genres of music can trace their lineage to the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer—a drum machine that many consider to be a cornerstone of modern hip-hop and electronic music. If you've ever heard a hip-hop song use the term "808s," it likely refers to Roland's magical machine (of course this includes Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreaks).

Introduced by the Roland Corporation in 1980 and discontinued in 1983, the TR-808 was idiosyncratic, and at first, a commercial failure due to its unrealistic sound. But that very same sound is what gave it a cult following within the early communities of hip-hop and dance music producers. It lead to the creation of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", among other iconic hits through the '80s.

Today, Puma pays tribute to the TR-808 through a collaboration collection featuring two of the big cat's retro runners: the Puma RS-0 and the Puma RS-100. Both are done up in colorways that are based on the 808's keys, and feature the machine's graphics at the heel, tongue, and insole. Check it out:


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The Puma x Roland collection is releasing in Metro Manila exclusively through Sole Academy on Sunday, September 30, to celebrate the boutique's seventh anniversary. Sole Academy has noted that stocks are "extremely limited," so don't sleep.

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