Legendary lyricists Black Thought and super-producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots are executive producers of a six-part docuseries entitled Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America on AMC.
On each episode of this new series put emphasis on a trailblazing song that was critical to the transformation of American music and popular culture. The artists tell the stories behind the music that was made, revisit the influence the song had on them as artists, and dig up the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work and gave voice to a generation.
According to the description of the network, “AMC Visionaries – Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America is a six-part documentary series examining six songs based on the impact the song had on the time of its creation and beyond; we pick the hip-hop song that had the biggest impact both musically and culturally. In each episode, artists will deconstruct the song and walk us through the impact the song had on them personally. Along the way, we will take a deep dive into the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work…and gave voice to a generation.”
The six classic songs that were chosen are “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West who challenged Hip-Hop and religion with his provocative song and video. “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, who made Black protest music in the era of Black Lives Matter. “Rock Box” by Run-DMC which helped launch Hip-Hop into the American mainstream. “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah challenged the misogyny of Hip-Hop and it became an anthem for Black women. “Elevators” by OutKast proved the South had something to say and push Hip-Hop past the geographical boundaries. “The Bridge” by Marley Marl and MC Shan a song that was created to pay homage to Queens becomes the first spark in one of the greatest battles in Hip-Hop.
Check out a clip of Hip-Hop: Songs That Shock America here.