A&E Network will debut the docuseries Origins of Hip Hop, exploring the roots of the culture’s most celebrated stars, on May 30.
The eight-episode series comes from Mass Appeal (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, Rapture), and chronicles the stories of iconic artists Busta Rhymes, Eve, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash (pictured), Ice-T, Ja Rule, Lil Jon and Uncle Luke as they reflect on their personal journeys and the evolution of their art.
Each hour-long episode focuses on one of the stars, with collaborators, friends, family and the artists themselves taking viewers to where their stories began and tracing their subsequent path to success. Each artist will reflect on moments that shaped them, obstacles they’ve overcome and lessons they’ve learned along the way. The series brings these stories to life through narration by acclaimed rapper Nas, rare archival footage of the spotlighted artists, and soundtracks featuring their music.
The May 30 premiere episode focuses on Fat Joe, one of the genre’s first Latino superstars, as he reflects on the highs and lows of his career and life.
“Origins of Hip Hop expands our boundary-pushing non-fiction programming slate and celebrates the artists and sounds that have helped define a genre and culture,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP and head of programming for A&E, in a release. “Alongside our partners at Mass Appeal, we are excited to elevate the voices and stories of this incredible group of artists who helped create and continue to shape the genre today.”
Origins of Hip Hop is produced by Mass Appeal for A&E Network. Peter Bittenbender and Slane Hatch serve as executive producers for Mass Appeal, while Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Brad Abramson are the executive producers for A&E.
In addition to the docuseries, A&E will be launching a podcast in May that will continue the conversation around the genre and further explore the impact of hip hop.