Constructed and composed during the recording process at various studios, including RPM, B.C. Studio in Brooklyn NY, Herbie's home studio in LA, Eldorado studio in LA. Mixing engineer Dave Jerden. the composition is the first recognized popular single to feature scratching and other turntablist techniques, performed by GrandMixer D.ST - an influential DJ in the early years of turntablism. Some years later, turntablists such as DJ Qbert and Mix Master Mike cited the composition as 'revelatory' in the documentary film Scratch, inspiring their interest in the instrument.
The single was a major radio hit in the United Kingdom and a popular dance club record in the United States.
The music video, directed by the duo of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme and featuring robot-like movable sculptures (by Jim Whiting) dancing, spinning, and even walking in time to the music in a "virtual house" in London, England, garnered five MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, including Best Concept Video and Best Special Effects. Hancock himself appears, and plays keyboard, only as an image on a television receiver, which is smashed on the pavement outside the front door of the house at the end of the video.
"Rockit" is featured in the 2007 film Kickin' It Old Skool as the music being played during two breakdance competitions, and a piece that wakes the main character Justin, played by Jamie Kennedy, from his 20-year coma.
"Rockit" appears in the film Zoolander, where it is used to break Derek's hypnotism during the finale catwalk scene.
"Rockit" was used for the radio program "Showboat" on Soccer AM.
"Rockit" was featured on Season 3, episode 4 of 30 Rock during a brief moment when NBC page Kenneth is shown street-dancing for side cash.
"Rockit" was featured on The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror XVI. It shows a robot playing it on a synthesizer whilst a pair of robotic legs are dancing in time to the music, parodying the music video.
A similar tune is heard in the sketch episode "The Extras," from The Amazing World of Gumball. A group of senior citizens dance to the tune.