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Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World

Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World

Photo Credit:  Courtesy of BBC Studios
  • Premiered: 
    January 31, 2023
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Musical
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Plot Synopsis

Developed by Chuck D and his producing partner Lorrie Boula, FIGHT THE POWER: HOW HIP HOP CHANGED THE WORLD is a four-part documentary series that tells the story of hip hop as a political tool for speaking truth to power. Directed by Todd Larkins Williams, the series includes first-hand accounts from some of rap's most integral players and deconstructs the origins of this bold and revolutionary art form through the voices of those who were there at the start, creating an anthology of how it became a cultural phenomenon against the backdrop of American history. Weaving together interconnected moments via intimate interviews and archival footage, FIGHT THE POWER explores hip hop -- a provocative and sometimes controversial force. The series features insightful interviews with hip hop luminaries, including Chuck D, Grandmaster Caz, Ice-T, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Roxanne Shante, Run DMC, John Forte,, MC Lyte, B-Real (Cypress Hill), Melle Mel, Fat Joe, Lupe Fiasco and more.

"The hip hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to," said Chuck D. "Long before any conglomerate realized it was time to wake up, hip hop had been speaking out and telling truths. Working with PBS and BBC is an opportunity to deliver these messages through new ways and help explain hip hop's place in history and hopefully inspire us all to take it further."

Episodes include:

"The Foundation" (Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 9pm): Discover the factors that led to the birth of Hip Hop and its first socially conscious hit The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 1982.

"Under Siege" (Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 9pm): Explore the 1980s and the birth of Hip Hop as social commentary in the Reagan Era with the emergence of artists like Public Enemy, KRS-One, Ice-T, and NWA.

"Culture Wars" (Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 9pm): Experience the 1990s during the Clinton years and the unstoppable rise in popularity of Hip Hop, which becomes a force that is attacked by all sides of the political establishment.

"Still Fighting" (Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 10pm): Follow the evolution of Hip Hop as its artists turn into multimillionaires and successful entrepreneurs. As a cultural phenomenon, Hip Hop continues to change history and is adopted as the voice of protest around the world.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by BBC Studios