Hip-Hop Evolution: The Documentary
This week’s Musical Monday post has some pretty easy advice – watch Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix. Even if you’re not a big fan of hip-hop, hearing the stories from the founders of a massive cultural movement that reshaped and is still shaping the world is riveting. Watching Grandmaster Flash recount his revolutionary spinning and cutting makes your heart full. To watch someone talk so passionately about a craft they love is beautiful.
On the more socially challenging side, host and rap artist Shad Kabango, eloquently navigates the real life impacts of aggressive policing and indifferent mainstream media towards black culture in America. Highlighting groups like Public Enemy and N.W.A., we’re thrust into the mid-80s and 90s heyday of gangsta rap and politically charged hip-hop. Public Enemy and N.W.A. thrived because of their willingness to openly and creatively rap about the struggles of the black community in America. Akin to Grandmaster Flash, both groups had an intense passion and expressed that passion through art and music. In fact, their passion “struck chords” (kind of pun intended) with millions of Americans: Public Enemy was named Rolling Stones’ 44th Greatest Artist of All Time (the highest ranking for any hip-hop group) and N.W.A. earned the 83rd spot on the same list. Additionally, both groups earned a spot in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.