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Hip-Hop Evolution

Hip-Hop Evolution

  • Premiered: 
    September 4, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HBO Canada
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Musical
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    Season 1
    Season 2
    Season 3
    Season 4

Plot Synopsis

Hosted by Shad Kabango, HIP-HOP EVOLUTION is a one-hour documentary series that uses interviews with influential MCs, DJs, and moguls to trace the genre's evolution from the 1970s through the 1990s. Season 1 opens in the 1970s, as DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and the first rhythmic rappers lay the foundations of hip-hop in the South Bronx. then, bootleg tapes capture the energy of live battles, the Sugarhill Gang releases a Top 40 hit, and hip-hop meets art punk in downtown New York. Next, Run-D.M.C. and Def Jam bridge the rock-rap divide. Innovators like Marley Marl and Rakim usher in a new sound, and Public Enemy raises consciousness. The season ends with Ice-T and N.W.A putting West Coast rap on the map, documenting the reality of life in South Central LA. Dr. Dre tops the charts with "The Chronic."

Season 2 of HIP-HOP EVOLUTION premiered on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 3:01am ET/12:01am PT. The four-episode second season spotlights the most influential hip-hop artists and scenes of the '80s and '90s, from 2 Live Crew to Tupac Shakur to the Notorious B.I.G. The four episodes include:

"The Southern Way": 2 Live Crew popularizes the Miami bass sound and scores a victory for free speech. The Geto Boys put Houston on the map, paving the way for UGK.

"Out the Trunk: The Bay": In the Bay Area, Too $hort channels pimp culture, MC Hammer becomes rap's first pop star, and Digital Underground introduces the world to Tupac Shakur.

"Do the Knowledge": KRS-One makes his mark at New York's legendary Latin Quarter club. A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul cultivate an Afrocentric, jazzy style.

"New York State of Mind": In the early 1990s, a new wave of hardcore East Coast artists emerges, led by Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G.

Netflix released the four-episode third season of HIP-HOP EVOLUTION on Friday, September 6, 2019 at 3:01am ET/12:01am PT. Season 3 includes these episodes:

"A Tale of Two Coasts": With the rise of N.W.A., gangsta rap and Suge Knight, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry climaxes with a lethal beef ensnaring the great Tupac Shakur.

"Life After Death": In NYC, the Notorious B.I.G. fosters an empowering protegee, Lil' Kim. When the East-West feud claims Biggie, Puff Daddy and Jay-Z vie for the throne.

"Pass the Mic": Alternative hip-hop bubbles up from the streets: Mos Def spits in NYC, the Freestyle Fellowship chops it up in LA, and Eminem battles on the circuit.

"The Dirty South": A hot, sticky music scene is born in Atlanta as the infectious hooks of TLC and Kris Kross yield to the gritty originality of OutKast and Goodie Mob.
The four-episode fourth season of HIP-HOP EVOLUTION debuted on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 3:01am ET/12:01am PT, as Netflix released all episodes of the new season:

"Bounce to This": Rooted in New Orleans's rich music culture, No Limit mogul Master P and bounce breakouts DJ Jimi and Juvenile shake rap and put twerking on the map.

"The Southern Lab": Innovators explode out of the South: Houston's DJ Screw slows hip-hop down, Memphis's Three 6 Mafia goes dark, and Atlanta's Lil Jon brings the crunk.

"The Super Producers": Auteurs like the Neptunes' Pharrell and Chad expand the sonic palette. Timbaland and Missy Elliott lean forward. Kanye West and J Dilla reimagine rap.

"Street Dreams": Mixtapes spread the hottest sounds, infringe copyright and break artists. Among them, 50 Cent polarizes, T.I. takes off with trap, and Lil Wayne clicks.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Banger Films