Ice-T uses Hip-Hop to reflect the violence of L.A. and inspires a new form of Hip-Hop: Gangsta Rap. N.W.A's first album, Straight Outta Compton, shocks America. Dr. Dre makes The Chronic, and creates...
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.
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 »
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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