Sid Williams Theatre

Hip-Hop Evolution

Hip-Hop Evolution

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 one and two of the hit documentary series on The Movie Network Canada.

Three Bronx-based DJs set Hip-Hop's aesthetic and sonic foundations: Hip-Hop's father, Kool Herc, conceives of playing only the very best parts of records, the breaks, and stitching them into his Merry-Go-Round; Afrika Bambaataa, a near mythic figure and former gang member, uses Hip-Hop as a way to unify the gang-ridden Bronx; and Grandmaster Flash, who perfects the science of playing breakbeats which makes space for the MCs to enter the scene. These MCs, inspired by deep African American oral traditions, change the dynamic of Hip-Hop and create the modern template for rap music, culminating with the emergence of Hip-Hop's first supercrew, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Hip-Hop crews in the Bronx and Harlem begin to form around the DJs, but these crews don’t make it into the studio to record their innovative material. It would take music veterans to see Hip-Hop’s commercial potential and create Hip-Hop's first vinyl hit, "Rapper's Delight." Debuting in 1979, “Rapper’s Delight” would take over the world, and in the process change Hip-Hop from a performance art into a recorded art. Novelty records abound before the pioneers find their footing and release classics like “Planet Rock” and “The Message.”