2014 Video: Kanye West & Rick Rubin

by Craig Hatkoff, Chief Curator

Rick Rubin, Kanye West and Mark Romanek teamed up for a Roland-808 acceptance speech video that rocks Tribeca! This trio raised the bar: disrupted the future for all award shows and the usual deadly, boring acceptance speeches.


I was a bit disappointed when I learned Rick Rubin and Kanye West would not be able to attend the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards to accept the award on behalf of the TR-808 Drum Machine that they both immortalized. Let me explain.

Two years ago Rick, who was not able to attend to receive his award as a major disruptive force in the music business, instead made an outrageously smart video-acceptance speech— a brilliantly crafted homage to the Academy Award winning “The Artist”—complete with a done-to-perfection, scratchily authentic look and feel. In the subtitles, Rick states in terse, Hemingway style that, quite simply, he has always been disruptive. It was so smart and funny it brought the house down.

So this year, in lieu of appearing at the awards, Rick and Kanye worked with another disruptive genius—film and music video legend Mark Romanek—to come up with an even more ingenious 808 acceptance speech. It was hard to figure out exactly who to thank for bringing the 808 its immortality 30 years after it has been discontinued, but I think we nailed it with our selection of these honorees.

While I am sure these three disruptors will win more Disruptive Innovation awards in the future, it might be more fun to have them just keep sending us these kickass video acceptances. They might have even cracked the code on how to make award shows more exciting for everyone. (Are you listening out there?)

Bring it on and congratulations.


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