The 8-part docuseries Origins of Hip-Hop delves into the compelling, inspiring stories of some of hip-hop’s most celebrated and groundbreaking artists in their own words. Narrated by renowned rapper Nas and featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with family, friends, and collaborators, the hour-long episodes chronicle the rise of eight culture-defining hip-hop legends across multiple generations and styles — including Busta Rhymes, Eve, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Ja Rule, Lil Jon, and Uncle Luke— as they share the experiences that shaped their music and made them icons.
What We Thought:
Now I’m not the biggest fan of hip-hop. I grew up on some of it, but the newer stuff I know nothing about. Because most of Origins of Hip-Hop is from the 1980s and 1990s, I actually know these artists and surprisingly a lot of their music. If you were a fan of VH1’s Behind the Music series, then this is for you.
This 8 part series profiles the lives and careers of Eve, Grandmaster Flash, Lil Jon, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Uncle Luke, Ice-T and Ja Rule. You get a mix of archival footage, interviews, music, and personal stories all narrated by Nas. Hearing their stories before they were famous is what it’s about and you can see how their careers were shaped by how they grew up.
That’s what this series does best, it shows the authenticity of these artists. Fat Joe talks about being shot twice right before his first album was going to drop. Most of them have at least one story involving a close encounter with death. They talk about their hustling days and using music to escape that life.
Origins of Hip-Hop is a pretty easy binge. It took me two days to watch all 8 episodes and I actually found it pretty interesting. It reminded me of the WWE series A&E did as well with how honest and raw it is. None of these artists are shy talking about their pasts and the things they’ve done because they know that’s how they became who they are. If you like hip-hop, especially old school hip-hop, then this is recommended.