Music News

Music News

Music News

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Producer Shawn Carter AKA Jay-Z attends "The Harder They Fall" World Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 06, 2021 in London, England.

Hip-Hop is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While the genre is one of the youngest, it is not short on its impact on the culture.

The genre originated in the early ’70s in New York in African-American communities in the Bronx. There are several aspects to hip-hop in regard to music making, such as rap, djing, and freestyling. Those created other avenues in the art form, such as breakdancing and graffiti art.

Hip-hop has been in the mainstream in ways that were never thought possible by its early adopters of the craft.

“When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told, ‘No’. No, you won’t be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap, you can’t sing. No, singers can’t become actresses. No, actors can’t also produce,” Queen Latifah said to Entertainment Weekly in a statement as she is set to become the first female rap artist to be celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors.

“To now be recognized amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community. The work the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable so I’m beyond grateful for this recognition.”

RELATED: 2023 BET Awards: 10 Of The Best Performances

Throughout this year, hip-hop has been celebrated in performances by some of the greats. At the 2023 BET Awards, there were performances by MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, The Sugarhill Gang, D-Nice, Warren G, Yo-Yo, Trick Daddy, Trina, Uncle Luke, Redman, Erick Sermon, and Keith Murray — also known as “Def Squad,” and more highlighted rap on Culture’s Biggest Night.

Earlier this year, Questlove curated a hip-hop tribute at the 2023 Grammy Awards where Missy Elliott, Run DMC, Salt n Pepa, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, Nelly, GloRilla, Lil Baby, and more took to the stage.

If you have been a fan since the beginning or you’ve just begun listening, you’ll learn more from these projects. Take a look at five documentaries on these hip-hop artists:

  • Biggie and Tupac (2002)

    Biggie and Tupac is a full-length documentary on the lives and tragedies of the hip-hop greats. Besides footage of Biggie and Tupac, you will also see appearances from Snoop Dogg, Lil Cease, and more. You can stream Biggie and Tupac on Amazon Prime Video.

  • The Story of Jay-Z (2020)

    The Story of Jay-Z (2020) ⭐ 7.4 | Documentary, Biography, Music

    The Story of Jay-Z: Directed by Finlay Bald. With Jay-Z, Ozzie Wilson. Jay-Z is one of the most talented, successful and acclaimed musicians of all time. He changed the game and without him, music - and more specifically hip hop - would not be in the medium it is today.

    Jay-Z is regarded as one of the best rappers to have touched a mic. The New York native’s 2020 documentary titled The Story of Jay-Z shows fans how he got to where he is now. You can stream The Story of Jay-Z on Amazon Prime Video.

  • Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (2022)

    Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy takes us back to where it all began for Kanye West: The Southside of Chicago. Kanye West’s artistry has impacted hip-hop like no other as his diverse skills in producing and designing put him in a league of his own. You can stream Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy on Netflix.

  • Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)

    Nas: Time Is Illmatic takes a deep dive into Nas’ iconic debut album Illmatic. In the New York native’s documentary you will also hear accounts from Alicia Keys, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes and Pharrell. You can stream Nas: Time Is Illmatic on Peacock.

  • Eminem: Count Me In (2023)

    Eminem: Count Me In (2023) | Documentary, Biography, Music

    Eminem: Count Me In: Directed by Lucy Ciara McCutcheon. Rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor, Eminem has a wide range of talents. Despite his struggles, this rap artiste has won the hearts of critics and fans alike, earning more than a dozen Grammy awards.

    Eminem has had quite a career in hip-hop and this documentary takes a look at many of his accolades. In 2022 he performed at the Super Bowl alongside Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent. He was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year for his contributions to hip-hop. You can stream Eminem: Count Me In on Amazon Prime Video.

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