The BBC has announced that it will air a brand new four-part music documentary boxset featuring and executive produced by Hip Hop legend, Chuck D, called Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed The World.
Developed by Chuck D and his producing partner, Lorrie Boula, the series will air on BBC Two and drop as a box-set on BBC iPlayer on January 21st. It has been co-produced by BBC Studios and PBS.
Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed The World will tell the story of the relationship between politics and the Hip Hop movement, recounting the origins of the revolutionary artform through first-hand accounts and charting the journey of how Hip Hop became a cultural phenomenon, against a backdrop of social and political American history.
Throughout the series, the way in which Hip Hop quickly created a provocative narrative of America is explored by weaving together interconnected moments via intimate interviews with integral players in the movement and archival footage.
Hip Hop luminaries featured in the series include B-Real from Cypress Hill, DMC, Eminem, Ice-T, Fat Joe, KRS-One, LL COOL J, MC Lyte, Monie Love, Abiodun Oyewole, Roxanne Shanté, and Will.I.Am as well as other culture figures such as Rev Al Sharpton, Sway Calloway, Walter “Hawk” Newsome, Nelson George.
Plus Dr Rosa Alicia Clemente, Lee Quiñones (influential New York graffiti artist), Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Michael Holman, Ernie Paniccioli, Dan Charnas, Shinese Harlins-Kilgore, Soren Baker, Dancin’ Doug Colón (one of the original b-boys), Leah Wright Rigueur, and more.
Grammy award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chuck D was at the vanguard of how Hip Hop became a platform for political expression and a vessel toward social justice. As co-founder of Public Enemy, Chuck explores the lessons in Black history and consciousness that his music dispatched while striving to dismantle racial constructs.
Fight The Power, Public Enemy’s groundbreaking single released in 1989, became an anthem that called for unity against oppression and continues to resonate to this day. It is often called the most important Hip Hop song of all time, is in the Library of Congress and was named the #2 Greatest Song of All Time in 2021 by Rolling Stone.
Chuck D says: “The Hip Hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to. Long before any conglomerate realized it was time to wake up, Hip Hop had been speaking out and telling truths. Working with PBS and the 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.”
Max Gogarty, Commissioning Editor, BBC, says: “Hip Hop is one of the most influential and culturally defining movements of our time and we feel privileged to be able to bring this story to audiences, in collaboration with one of its founding figures – Chuck D. We’re grateful to all of the contributors in this series and our partners PBS who have helped tell this important story”.
Fight the Power is a BBC Studios Docs production for BBC Music and BBC Two in partnership with PBS.