Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has announced The Definitive History of Hip-Hop, a new documentary series. Living up to its title, the show is set to cover everything from the culture’s foundations in the ’70s to its current-day galore. Stephen David Entertainment and Simmons’ All Def Digital will partner with GroupM Entertainment to develop and produce the series.
As far why is now the right time for a “definitive” history of hip-hop, All Def CEO Sanjay Sharma said in a statement that the business of black culture stories is a-booming: “With the breakout success of entertainment properties like Straight Outta Compton and Moonlight in film, Empire and Atlanta in television, even Hamilton on Broadway, there could not be a better time to tell this story about the embryonic days of hip hop.”
“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,” Simmons said via statement. “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.”
While Simmons did not create Hip-Hop, nor was he the first person to start a Hip-Hop record label, he was a pioneer in making the culture a global phenomenon thanks to founding Def Jam Records and managing Run-DMC.
The project is in development and slated to begin production this year. It will be released through All Def Digital.