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Russell Simmons to Release New Documentary Series on Hip-Hop’s History

Paul Archuleta, Getty Images
Paul Archuleta, Getty Images

As a co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons is one of the four or five people most responsible for bringing hip-hop to the mainstream. So it’s fitting he’s also set to help teach the masses about the origins of the genre.

Today (March 14), Simmons announced The Definitive History of Hip Hop, a comprehensive new documentary series set to begin production this year. As its name implies, The Definitive History of Hip Hop will chronicle every phase of hip-hop’s storied evolution, from the DJs who hosted Bronx block parties in 1973 to the genre-bending, cross-entertainment medium inhabiting rappers of today.

In a press release, Simmons detailed the earliest stages of hip-hop’s development while elaborating on his vision for the show. “Hip-hop began in the Bronx and Queens, and was fueled by pioneering new artists with an incredible hunger to express themselves in unimaginably bold new ways,” said Simmons, who led an anti-Islamophobia rally in New York about a month ago.

The Definitive History of Hip Hop is the untold story of the birth of this art form–the series gets behind the scenes of what drove the beats, the rhymes, the ideas—and the people—that so powerfully hit a chord with all of youth culture in America and around the world,” Simmons continues in the press release. “It starts with the OGs of this disruptive force in entertainment, spotlights some of the lesser known artists who’ve fallen out of history or favor, and of course looks at the icons who are now household names whether you’re in L.A. or London, Toledo or Tokyo.”

Simmons’ All Def Digital will team with Stephen David Entertainment and GroupM Entertainment to produce the new series. There’s no word on when the new documentary series is set to premiere.

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