The theme for breakdancers everywhere during the early '80s, "Rockit" proved the second time in Herbie Hancock's career that the jazz wizard proved surprisingly capable of grasping the commercial direction of R&B and measurably widening his audience. The first time, his 1973 album Head Hunters, Hancock became an electronic funkster and one of the best-selling jazz musicians in history. Just under a decade later, he set up shop near the intersection of jazz, industrial-funk, and hip-hop (the latter just beginning its rise to success). Producer Bill Laswell assembled a studio band including the talents of a young hip-hop DJ named Grand Mixer D.ST. At a time when virtually every American could barely fathom the idea of "playing" turntables, D.ST added a few deft scratches to the heavily mechanized arrangement. In keeping with Hancock's obvious focus on musicianship, the single was actually recorded live in the studio, with Hancock's keyboards and rigid synthesizer lines over D.ST's scratching and all. When the song was released in late 1983 as a single and on Hancock's Future Shock LP, it hit the Top Ten in Britain. Though it barely managed to hit the American charts at all, "Rockit" became a massive underground hit, especially in New York.