Today is the 8th of the 8th 2008 – yep 08/08/08. It’s considered a lucky day in Chinese culture which also coincides with the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games.
Yes, some people have been waiting for such a day to happen again since July last year (and after tomorrow they’ll have to wait even longer until September next year).
When I heard someone refer to the day as 80808 (eight-o-eight-o-eight), it reminded me of some rap lyrics that I’ve heard dropped into more than a few popular rap songs.
As it turns-out, the term 808 could possibly refer to the Roland TR-808 which happened to be the first-ever electronic, programmable drum machine. I believe the bass drum effect from this machine was programmed as 808. Even though this machine first came-out in the 80’s, the sounds of the TR-808 are still commonly used in drum and bass, hip-hop, R&B, house, electro and many forms of electronic dance music today. Just add some some synthesised sounds and a repetitive catchy lyric and you’ve just described some of my favourite songs.
It also coincidentally refers to the American penal code for disturbing the peace (most commonly through the use of loud music).
The other reference to 808 that I could find is that it’s also the telephone area code for Hawaii, however I doubt a phone number would have inspired any rap lyrics… unless you count this De La Soul classic.
So there you have it… they might only be three small numbers, but they are responsible for a rather large sound.