Herbie Hancock

Rockit

Song Review by

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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Future Shock 1983 Legacy 6:18
Club Columbia: A Collection of Classic Dance Mixes 1990
Various Artists
Columbia 5:23
Street Jams: Electric Funk, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
Rhino 5:21
Playboy's 40th Anniversary: Four Decades of Jazz 1953-1993 1993
Various Artists
Verve 5:24
It's Electric 1994
Various Artists
Double Power / Sony Music Entertainment 3:21
80's Dance Party, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
SPG 6:19
Only Dance: 1980-1984 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:41
Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Box Set 1995
Various Artists
MCA 3:55
Greatest Hits of the Eighties, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:24
MTV Class of 1983 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 5:21
80's Dance Party [Sony] 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:24
Street Jams: Electric Funk, Vols. 1-4 1996
Various Artists
Rhino
Old School, Vols. 1-5 1996
Various Artists
Thump Records 0:00
Nick at Nite Goes to Outer Space 1997
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:55
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:23
The Greatest Hits of the '80s, Vol. 10 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 5:26
80's Dance Party [4CD Set] 1999
Various Artists
SPG 5:27
Pop Music: The Modern Era 1976-1999 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:56
The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy's Collection 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:24
Best Hip Hop Anthems Ever 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 3:37
The Best of Herbie Hancock: The Hits 2000 Legacy / Columbia 5:26
Millennium of Pop 2000
Various Artists
Import 3:55
Ken Burns Jazz 2000 Legacy / Columbia 5:27
Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music 2000
Various Artists
Legacy / Columbia 3:56
Grandmix: The Millennium Edition 2000 Sony Music Distribution 1:36
The Best of Breakdance & Electric Boogie, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:43
Charlotte Hornets: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 5:22
Denver Nuggets: Gold Rush 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 5:22
Houston Rockets: Clutch City 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 5:22
Toronto Raptors: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 5:22
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 3:20
Mr. Funk 2001 Columbia 5:24
Real Disco 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:55
Greatest Hits of the 80's [Sony] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:26
Disco Dance 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:24
Zoolander 2001
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 5:26
Funkology 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 3:41
Electro Breakdance: Real Old School Revival 2002
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:39
Soul Hits of the 80's [Sony] 2002
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:26
The Herbie Hancock Box 2002 Columbia / Legacy 5:25
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Box Set 2002
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 5:22
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 5: Wildstyle 2002
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 5:22
Electro Beatbox 2002
Various Artists
Deca Dance (UK) 5:20
Eastside 2003 Obsessive 3:45
DJ Yoda's How to Cut and Paste: 80's Edition 2003 Antidote 1:26
Most Fun You've Had All Decade: 80s 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Rewind: The Best In Music & Video [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:42
The Definitive Electro & Hip Hop Collection 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 3:42
Now That's What I Call the 80s 2008
Various Artists
RCA / Sony BMG / Universal Distribution / Zomba / Sony Music Distribution 3:38
Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock 2008 Verve 4:10
Ashes to Ashes, Series 3 2010
Original Soundtrack
Sony CMG / Sony Music Entertainment 3:39
Ministry of Sound: 80s Groove -- Old Skool Funk Soul Classics 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:41
Lo Esencial de Jugo de Hits 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 3:43
Work It Out! [Sony] 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:48
Greatest Ever! Electric Eighties 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 3:41
No Image
Various Artists
Digital 3:43