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Here’s how you can trace an ’80s hip-hop beat back to 1910’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell explains it all.’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell Asa Mathat
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

What makes ’80s music sound like ’80s music? There’s one particular sound that stands out.’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell showed Recode’s Code Conference audience how a single chord, first created by Igor Stravinsky in the early 1900s, became a ubiquitous marker of ‘80s hip-hop music.

Caswell can be found explaining all sorts or sound conundrums on Vox’s YouTube series Earworm. She also directed an episode of Vox’s new Netflix show “Explained” about K-Pop.

You can watch Caswell’s original video about this singular sound below.

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