Though a distant spectator, Detroit was actually a willing participant at rap's inception, thanks to the city's embrace of electro, one of the rhythmic sources from which early hip-hop flowed. Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force (as well as his sampling inspiration, Kraftwerk) were staples of the late-night sets by the influential FM radio DJ the Electrifying Mojo, along with the early recordings by Cybotron, a local duo featuring a young synthesizer enthusiast named Juan Atkins. But where New York DJs and producers concentrated on the verbal gymnastics of MCs, Detroit remained focused on the music's sleek electronic instrumentals and driving drum-machine beats, and soon a generation of African-American producers and beat-makers would speed up the tempos to create the futuristic-leaning sound of techno instead.

Cybotron "Clear" (1983)