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: Hip-Hop created a new voice for the disenfranchised.
A feature length film created from episodes three and four of the hit documentary series on The Movie Network Canada.
Run-DMC ushers in a new era and aesthetic for Hip-Hop, as soft R&B tracks and outlandish funk costumes are replaced by Kangols, Adidas, fat gold chains, and hardcore beats. Run-DMC's manager, Russell Simmons, connects with a talented producer with a flair for the theatrical, Rick Rubin, to create Hip-Hop's first empire, Def Jam Records. Inspired by Def Jam’s blueprint, Queens-based producer, Marley Marl, stumbles on a new way to make music - electronic sampling - a technique so profoundly transformative that it kicks-offs Hip-Hop's Golden Age. For the next few years, every new song and album takes Hip-Hop's production to new heights and lyrics follow suit. It all culminates in the epic fury of Public Enemy’s chief lyricist, Chuck D, and their production team, The Bomb Squad.
From the streets of Crenshaw, a young Crip, Ice-T, uses Hip-Hop to refract the violent realities of Los Angeles and in the process inspires a whole new form of Hip-Hop: Gangsta Rap. Chief amongst Ice-T’s followers is The World's Most Dangerous Group, N.W.A. Their first album, Straight Outta Compton, shocks America and ushers in a new age of harsh, biographical, rap that still dominates Hip-Hop today. In the wake of the Rodney King Rebellion, Dr. Dre creates an album that reflects the anger and alienation of Black America over his gorgeous G-Funk sound. The lyrics are controversial, but the beats are massively popular; The Chronic becomes Hip-Hop’s first true crossover hardcore record and lays the template for nearly every Hip-Hop album since.