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VH1’s History of Hip Hop Show

It’s great! I’ll generally watch anything that chronicles the evolution of musical styles over time (especially post 1950). I really enjoyed watching the history of hip-hop - explaining where it came from, what its underpinnings were, how completely clueless Reagan was about urban blight…it was outstanding.

It starts off with the old school - GrandMaster Flash, etc. and explores the interesting liason between the NY Punk Rock / New Wave and Hip-hop scenes, moves to tracking the rise of DefJam and LL Cool J, Run DMC, and the Beastie Boys, then charts the bi-coastalization and the gangsta' rap movement that culminates in the death of Tupac Shakur and Chris Wallace and stops where hip hop now is, many many new areas exploring hip-hop (the Atlanta scene, Nelly ruling St. Louis, The Paranoic grandeur of the 5th ward Geto Boys of Houston, etc.)

Ultimately hip hop is the expression of this is where I come from, this is what it’s about, gimme a beat, and I’ll tell you about it.

I love hip hop when it’s done well – it’s sort of the way i feel about country music. What’s put out by the big players sucks terribly. If you find a scene where true innovation is cooking you may find the purest and most enjoyable expression of the art form.

Ultimately it’s the culmination of the Beat poet work - a beat, a rhyme, an expression of identitiy. In our age of inauthenticity, could the reason that this is the most influential musical art form today be any more apparent?