In a press release, The Root has learned that rap legend Chuck D—along with his manager, Lorrie Boula—is developing a four-part docuseries The Story of Hip Hop with Chuck D (working title) for PBS.
The project “rewinds to the birth of hip-hop and traces its role in the story of America from the past 40 years, right up to the present day.”
“The hip-hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to,” Chuck D said in a statement provided to The Root. “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.”
Using interviews with important voices who’ve been there from hip hop’s beginnings and archival footage, the series details “how hip-hop—from the beginning a provocative and sometimes controversial cultural force, even within the Black community—has been instrumental in giving voice and mobility to marginalized communities, helping confront social issues and driving change.”
No one does these types of historical documentaries better than PBS, so it will be interesting to see how the public broadcaster handles something completely outside of its normal realm.
“We brought the project to PBS and BBC Studios because they are unparalleled at creating great documentaries. Chuck D and I look forward to working with them to take this account of such an important movement to the world,” adds Lorrie Boula. “People are finally open to hearing and learning about the history of all Americans, and we want to deliver authentic, compelling, and truthful stories to them.”
The Story of Hip Hop with Chuck D will debut in Fall 2022.
“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. “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.”
Will you watch The Story of Hip Hop with Chuck D? Who do you want to see interviewed? What pivotal moments do you want to see explored?