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Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons is behind a forthcoming documentary series, “The Definitive History of Hip Hop,” due to start production this year. It’ll tell the “untold story of the birth” of hip-hop spanning from the early-’70s to today, Simmons said in a press release. The series will feature “visual effects, archival footage and celebrity interviews,” the press release states. Simmons’ platform All Def Digital will join with Stephen David Entertainment and GroupM Entertainment to produce the series.
Simmons said in the press release:
Hip hop began in the Bronx and Queens, and was fueled by pioneering new artists with an incredible hunger to express themselves in unimaginably bold new ways. The Definitive History of Hip Hop is the untold story of the birth of this art form – the series gets behind the scenes of what drove the beats, the rhymes, the ideas — and the people — that so powerfully hit a chord with all of youth culture in America and around the world. It starts with the OGs of this disruptive force in entertainment, spotlights some of the lesser known artists who’ve fallen out of history or favor, and of course looks at the icons who are now household names whether you’re in LA or London, Toledo or Tokyo…. We are going long, and deep, and plan to follow the characters and story lines, the drama, the dreams, the deaths, the disruptions, that have made our narrative one of the most compelling American stories of the last three decades. And its future is still being written today, so the story is both timeless and endless.
All Def’s Chief Executive Officer, Sanjay Sharma, added:
With the break-out success of entertainment properties like Straight Outta Compton and Moonlight in film, “Empire” and “Atlanta” in television, even Hamilton on Broadway, there could not be a better time to tell this story about the embryonic days of hip hop. Hip Hop is the most listened to category of music in the US and its universal appeal is, in part, due to the fact that it has always been about speaking truth to power – nothing could be more timely than this. Aside from dominating pop culture, this thread dominates the global social and political climate as well.