Tuesday, January 18, 2022

PBS Taps Chuck D to 'Tell the Story of Hip-Hop'

Kim MetsoCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Public Enemy frontman and co-founder Chuck D will be telling the story of hip-hop and its role in shaping America over the last 40 years in a four-part series for PBS.

The network, along with its partner BBC Studios, announced the series today on the first day of the virtual Television Critics Association winter press tour.

The series’ — developed by Chuck D and his manager Lorrie Boula — working title is “The Story of Hip-Hop with Chuck D.” Currently slated for a fall 2022 premier, it promises to “trace the story of this globally influential art form over the past 40 years up to today” and will feature some of the arts most influential names including: Run DMC, LL Cool J and Queen Latifah.

“PBS is excited to join with Chuck D, Lorrie Boula and BBC Studios to bring this illuminating project to audiences across our platforms,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President of Multiplatform Programming and Head of Development for PBS, in a statement about the release. “Hip-hop is one of the most influential artistic genres and cultural movements of our time, and we’re thrilled to tell a deep and unflinching story with one of its originators and most powerful voices.”

Through first-hand accounts from some of rap’s most integral players, the series aims to deconstruct the origins of rap, show the roots of the art as a cultural phenomenon and illustrate its importance in giving a voice to marginalized communities.

“The hip-hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to,” added Chuck D. “Long before any conglomerate realized it was time to wake up, hip-hop had been speaking out and telling truths. Working with PBS and BBC is an opportunity to deliver these messages through new ways and help explain hip hop’s place in history and hopefully inspire us all to take it further.”

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