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Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America

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From executive producers Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter, Shawn Gee and Alex Gibney, each episode of this series focuses on a groundbreaking song pivotal to the evolution of American music and culture. From the early hip-hop battles to verses that sparked hope and inspired change, watch artists deconstruct their composition, revisit the impact the song had on them personally, and dissect the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work and gave voice to a generation.

Latest episodes

VOD available
"Ladies First" by Queen Latifah; at the height of hip-hop's misogynistic themes, the culture bows down to their queens of rap.
VOD available
"The Bridge" by Marley Marl and MC Shan; a song designed to foster community pride ignites hip-hop's most epic rap battle.
VOD available
"Elevators" by OutKast; hip-hop's Southern voice breaks through with an unsuspecting song that redefines rap's cultural and geographic boundaries.
VOD available
"Alright" by Kendrick Lamar; making protest music in the era of Black Lives Matter, "Alright" becomes the unsaid anthem for hope.
VOD available
"Rock Box" by Run-DMC; how one song tore down the barriers between rock and hip-hop, race and class on American radio and television.
VOD available
"Jesus Walks" by Kanye West; in an era of excess, a Christian rap song challenges the church and changes its own ideals about religion and rap music.

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