8 Shows Every Hip-Hop Fan Should Watch (PHOTOS)
In HBO's newest American talk show, LeBron James invites colleagues to the barber shop to sit down and have real conversations about a range of topics from sports and music to politics and poverty. So far, there have been appearances from Drake, 2 Chainz, and Meek Mill.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga
The saga delves into the lives of Bobby Diggs (aka RZA) and his fellow emcees. Of course, everyone is well aware of the unceasing tension between West Coast and East Coast rappers, but what is not as advertised is the tension within the Staten Island community and amongst the Wu-Tang members themselves. Through an unfiltered lens, the show explores the journey of how ten unlikely people formed one of the most iconic hip-hop groups of all time. The mini drama series navigates the audience through persistent gun violence, the early 1990s crack epidemic, and a nostalgic soundtrack all while wholeheartedly conveying the power of hip-hop and its ability to bring even the biggest of rivals together. Be sure to catch Episodes 6 and 7 on September 25 and October 2 respectively.
In this musical comedy-drama, Donald Glover masterfully brings the art of acting and rapping together to tell the story of two cousins (Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks and Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles) who aspire to make it big in the rap game. While the former is an Ivy League dropout unhappy with his full-time job at the airport, the latter is a carefree rapper content with his full-time job as a drug dealer.
Ultimately, the two Atlanta residents are faced with racism, gun violence, family drama, and more in their efforts to make their dreams come true.
Aside from the plot, the soundtrack is impressive, and it is hard to go through any episode without wanting to add a new song to your playlist.
The title itself is pretty self-explanatory, but what is shocking about this series is just how much history it unpacks in 4-episode intervals. While hip-hop has become a popular genre today, true hip-hop heads will appreciate the lengths the docuseries goes to in order to explain the very origins of hip-hop (before it was mainstream). Everything from the cultural tension between the East and West Coasts, all the way to the legal tension between the rap game and the Supreme Court is addressed.
Fans will also be excited to see celebrity cameos from the likes of Ice-T, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, Lil' Kim, and more. A number of rappers comment on the times, culture, and community they grew up in and speak on some of the most underground emcees like Freestyle Fellowship, along with some of hip-hop’s biggest popstars like MC Hammer.
The American drama series follows the life of Empire Entertainment's CEO, Lucious Lyon, and his talented sons. Throughout an ongoing medical condition and worsening conflict with his ex-wife, he tries to prepare one of his three sons for their future in taking over the family business.
The Get Down
The hip-hop series may have gotten cancelled, but it definitely has not been forgotten. It is set in the 1970s in South Bronx (otherwise known as one of the meccas of hip-hop) and follows the lives of Afro-Latino teen Ezekiel and his friends. Through breakdance and funky beats, the ambitious group of friends get down to business and try to find their space in the emerging world of hip-hop. The music-driven drama also stars rapper Jaden Smith.
Wild 'N Out
It is not just the longest running show on MTV, but is also the longest running hip-hop show in history. If its record breaking doesn’t impress you, it’s joke cracking will. In each episode Nick Cannon brings on a special guest and that guest gets to join in on the fun and (rap) games as either a member of the red team or black team. The teams never refrain from getting the most absurd one-liners in while teetering on the edge of what's appropriate. By pitting creatives and close friends against each other on a regular basis, the show genuinely captures the art of cyphering in its most raw (and comical) state.
Rhythm & Flow
This upcoming Netflix series will bring music to the next level. As Chance the Rapper says in the promo, “This is hip-hop’s first legit TV competition.” The “No Problem” rapper will be joined by Cardi B and T.I. as judges on the groundbreaking show. You can watch music history be made right on your television screen starting October 9 when the series premieres.
Today hip-hop is at the top of the charts. With the likes of Lizzo, Post Malone, and Lil Nas taking over Billboard’s Top 10, the hip-hop industry has become quite the spectacle.
If you are a true hip-hop head, you’ve probably studied the eccentric evolution of the art form, including the feats, downfalls, and everything in between. Luckily, we have some shows for you that document hip-hop’s history and serve as the ultimate ode to the 44-year-old genre.
Click through the images for some of the realest moments in hip-hop history, along with a sneak peek of hip-hop’s newest endeavor.