The 4 x 60-minute series, which held its world premiere at last year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, finds Canadian rapper and former radio host Shad traveling to the Bronx and Harlem to talk with hip-hop icons including Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Ice T, Chuck D, MC Eiht, DJ Yella, and Run-D.M.C.
Originally commissioned by Bell Media and produced in partnership with Banger Films, Hip-Hop Evolution revisits New York City in the 1970s to reveal how the genre evolved from a house-party experiment to global phenomenon, and how it created a voice for the disenfranchised.
The docuseries will be accompanied by a digital and interactive extension titled Find Your Rap Origins, which was developed by the Toronto- and LA-based digital content studio Secret Location. The interactive content, which will be made available here, allows users to create and trace their own hip-hop evolution story.
Hip-Hop Evolution premieres September 4 at 9 p.m. EST/PST on HBO Canada. At present, it isn’t slated to air on HBO U.S.