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Hip-Hop Evolution 

TV-MA | | Documentary, Music | TV Series (2016– )
4:07 | Clip
MC and journalist Shad Kabango meets with Hip-Hop's biggest stars to retrace how Hip-Hop became the world's most popular music, but realizes that Hip-Hop's true legacy is something much more profound.




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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Shad Shad ...  Self - Presenter 8 episodes, 2016-2018
LL Cool J ...  Self 4 episodes, 2016
Alonzo Williams ...  Self 4 episodes, 2016
Melle Mel ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Grandmaster Caz Grandmaster Caz ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
DJ Jazzy Jay DJ Jazzy Jay ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Kurtis Blow ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Kool Moe Dee Kool Moe Dee ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Russell Simmons ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Darryl McDaniels ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Dan Charnas Dan Charnas ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Kevin Powell Kevin Powell ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Nelson George ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Big Daddy Kane ...  Self 3 episodes, 2016
Kool Herc ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Afrika Bambaataa ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Grandmaster Flash ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
DJ Disco Wiz DJ Disco Wiz ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Grandmixer Dxt Grandmixer Dxt ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Grand Wizard Theodore Grand Wizard Theodore ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
D.J. Hollywood D.J. Hollywood ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Fab 5 Freddy ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Sugarhill Gang ...  Themselves 2 episodes, 2016
Joe Conzo Joe Conzo ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Coke La Rock Coke La Rock ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Chuck D ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Cheo Hodari Coker ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
DJ Premier DJ Premier ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Tim Langton Tim Langton ...  (Additional voice talent) / ... 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Marley Marl Marley Marl ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Faith Newman ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Prince Paul ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Roxanne Shanté ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016-2018
Sal Abbatiello Sal Abbatiello ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Bill Adler Bill Adler ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Claire Armstrong ...  Newscaster 2 episodes, 2016
Ice Cube ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Ice-T ...  Self 2 episodes, 2016
Phil Liberbaum Phil Liberbaum ...  Newscaster 2 episodes, 2016
Sean 'Diddy' Combs ...  Self 2 episodes, 2018-2019
Lil' Cease Lil' Cease ...  Self 2 episodes, 2018-2019
Lil' Kim ...  Self 2 episodes, 2018-2019
Q-Tip ...  Self 2 episodes, 2018
Busta Rhymes ...  Self 2 episodes, 2018


Critically acclaimed MC and journalist Shad Kabango sets out to uncover the foundations of Hip-Hop music. Beginning his journey in the Bronx, Shad meets with the DJs and MCs who set the template for all to follow. Along the way, Shad retraces Hip-Hop's progression from underground parties to mainstream culture, but realizes something much more profound-that Hip-Hop's success is only part of the story: from the boroughs of NYC to the ghettos of LA and beyond, Hip-Hop created a new voice for the disenfranchised.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


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Did You Know?


Producer Sam Dunn had previously completed a documentary called Metal: A Headbanger's Journey which explored the evolution of heavy metal music and attempted to categorize and classify the various bands and subgenres of heavy metal. This documentary was produced in a similar style and approach although with less structured classification and an obvious focus on hip-hop music. See more »

User Reviews

Hip-Hop 101
28 February 2017 | by view_and_reviewSee all my reviews

Hip-hop was my life growing up, as it was the life of so many around me. My earliest memories were Run DMC, Kurtis Blow and the Beastie Boys. In fact, I remember trying to "scratch" on my mom's record player because of hip-hop. So to see this four part tribute to its origins was just magnificent.

The team that put this together went back to the genesis: Bronx, New York. They started with the underground parties of Kool Herc and progressed through the timeline from there stopping at the contributions of Afrika Bambata, The Furious Five, The Sugarhill Gang, Run DMC and others.

What cannot be overlooked is the contribution of Grandmaster Flash. What he did for hip-hop was nothing short of wizardry. He was a scientist when it came to mixing and spinning two turntables. I was floored to hear about how he started and what he started with. It was amazing to hear about a music style that blossomed in the 80's but can really be traced to a time period well before that.

I think anyone that has a serious interest in hip-hop should watch this documentary. It was somewhat nostalgic for me because many of the artists mentioned and interviewed were artists I enjoyed as a kid. I was slightly disappointed that some--what I consider pioneers--were not mentioned. Those like KRS One, Fat Boys, Doug E Fresh, Whodini, Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick and more. I also would have liked to see hip-hop's first entry into movies as I remember Krush Groove, Breakin' and Beat Street.

Even with those absences I was impressed. There's only so much you can cover anyway and I know they tried to hit the highlights. It is still a seminal work that has paved the way for even broader endeavors. This was an essential lesson in hip-hop 101 that has no substitute at this time.

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Official Sites:

Official Site | Official site





Release Date:

4 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hip-Hop Evolution See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


CAD2,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Banger Films See more »
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Technical Specs


(Hot Docs International Documentary Festival)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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