Nas and Mass Appeal to celebrate hip hop’s 50th birthday with ‘Hip Hop 50’ series.
Mass Appeal in partnership with Showtime will be celebrating hip hop’s 50 birthday with a new original series that documents that last 50 years of the culture.
Variety reports “Hip Hop 50 highlights the genre’s dense history through the lens of different participants and delves into the sub-cultures birthed from its rise.”
The documentary will feature scripted shows and films that captures the various essence of hip hop including focus films on New York’s graffiti culture, the lives of West Coast rap group and marijuana advocates Cypress Hill, famous hip hop photographer Nick Powell, and the women of hip hop.
“Women were there from day one, and as we know, women are marginalized in our society,” Says Sacha Jenkins, Mass Appeal’s chief creative officer. “In hip-hop, in some regards, they haven’t always had their fair shake as well. To have the opportunity to have women tell their own stories about their trials and successes, we feel is very important. It’s not about men saying, ‘This is what the hip-hop experience was’ for women. It’s about women having the opportunity to tell their stories and speak their minds and truths.”
Nas, one of the show’s creators tells Variety: “There are so many more stories. I’m opening up with this, but ‘Hip Hop 50’ is a multi-tier initiative, created by Mass Appeal [in partnership with CBS Viacom], and we built this platform to ensure the anniversary of hip-hop is celebrated in a real iconic way, and that everybody should be involved with this. This is something that’s coming up that we don’t want to just pass by like it’s small. This is the biggest birthday in the world. You’re going to see the stories from every element of hip-hop, whether it’s the street stories, whether it’s the MCing. Whatever it is, we want to celebrate and push this birthday party to the max.”
Hip Hop 50 will also be told from the eyes of young directors, who offer a fresh perspective “and new ways to visualize the culture.”
“It has to be everyone that loves the culture, that can tell the story, that can really show through their work where we’re headed and why we’re headed there,” adds Nas. “The new voices are the new stories, and you have to have the beginning and the ‘now.’”
“Hip Hop 50” programming begins later this year and runs through 2023. Watch the first teaser trailer below.