Hip-Hop Evolution features in-depth, personal interviews with the progenitors of DJing, rapping, and production, culminating in what is now taken to be Hip hop music and rap, adding to the existing understanding of hip-hip’s earliest decades. Such original artists, producers, DJs, and promoters include DJ Kool Herc, Coke La Rock, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Marley Marl, Africa Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Whodini, Warp 9, DJ Hollywood, Spoonie Gee, The Sugarhil Gang and Russell Simmons (SEE FULL CAST LISTING BELOW)
The first episode documents the history of the inceptive hip-hop party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in The Bronx where DJ Kool Herc, who thus emerged as a godfather of the tradition, DJed his sister’s birthday party.
The series went on to feature some of the most influential artists of the genre, without whom its current form would not exist, such as Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys, N.W.A., Ice-T, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J as well as documenting Schooly D, from Philadelphia, as the influence for Gangster Rap on the West Coast, as told by the words of Ice T. It limits it telling of the history at that point, as it documents that was the turning point in which Hip Hop had turned from an underground movement within music to a mainstream genre, that ripples its influence throughout contemporary culture.
Episode titles Air Dates and description
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Airdate: September 4th, 2016
Bronx-based DJs set Hip-Hop’s sonic foundations. MCs, inspired by African American oral traditions, create the modern template for rap music, culminating with the emergence of Hip-Hop’s first crew, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
FROM THE UNDERGROUND TO THE MAINSTREAM
Airdate: September 11th, 2016
Hip-Hop crews in the Bronx and Harlem begin to form around the DJs, but these pioneering groups never record any music. It would take R&B veterans to see the genre’s commercial potential and create Hip-Hop’s first hit, “Rapper’s Delight.”
THE NEW GUARD
Airdate: September 18th, 2016
Run-DMC ushers in a new era of Hip-Hop. Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin build Hip-Hop’s first empire, Def Jam. An unknown producer finds a new way to make beats and launches Hip-Hop’s Golden Age, culminating in the epic fury of Public Enemy.
THE BIRTH OF GANGSTA RAP
Airdate: September 25th, 2016
Ice-T uses Hip-Hop to reflect the violence of Los Angeles and inspires a new form of Hip-Hop: Gangsta Rap. N.W.A’s first album, Straight Outta Compton, shocks America. After the LA Rebellion, Dr. Dre makes The Chronic, and creates Hip-Hop’s first hardcore pop record.
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Featuring Sal Abbatiello, Paul Ackerley, Bill Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Claire Armstrong, B-Real, Africa Bambaataa. Big Daddy Kane, Kurtis Blow, Dan Charnas, Chuck D, CheoHodari Coker, Joe Conzo, Brian Cross, DJ Disco Wiz, DJ Premier, DJ Yella, Grand Mixer DXT, MC Eiht, Fab5 Freddy, Craig G, Nelson George, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Flash, D.J. Hollywood, Ice Cube, Ice-T, DJ Jazzy Jay, Shad Kabango, Ras Kass, Kid Frost, Kool Herc, Kool Moe Dee, Kurupt, Coke La Rock, Tim Langton, Phil Liberbaum, LL Cool J, Greg Mack, Marley Marl, Master Gee, Darryl McDaniels, Melle Mel, Faith Newman, Prince Paul, Kevin Powell, Arabian Prince, Rakim, Kool DJ Red Alert, Dr. Joe Schloss, Schooly-D Roxanne Shant’e, Tom Silverman, Lonzo Williams and Wonder Mike