Nas, Steve Stoute, the Reverend Al Sharpton, longtime Def Jam publicist Bill Adler, FUBU founder Daymond John, and even comedian Jerry Seinfeld all showed up to the premiere of the first two episodes of VH1's four-part Tanning Of America
series, based on Stoute's book of the same name that tracks the rise and increasing influence of hip-hop in the mainstream world. The premiere, held at the Paley Center For Media in midtown Manhattan, focused on the various aspects of hip-hop's influence in pop culture, from the clothing to the art to the marketing to the politics and, of course, the music.
Following the screening of the first two episodes—the first of which covers the years of 1970-1986, with the second detailing 1987-1992—a five-person panel which included Nas, Stoute, John, Sharpton and Fab 5 Freddy and was moderated by Gayle King spoke about the experience of growing up in and shaping the culture which has emerged as an undeniable force in American identity. XXL
was on hand for the premiere—the first episode of which airs on VH1 on Monday, Feb. 24—and collected eleven things we learned from the screening and the panel discussion afterward, from lessons on Good Times
vs. Happy Days
to Eazy-E's reaction to the FBI taking notice of N.W.A's lyrics. —Dan Rys (@danrys)