Hip Hop is close to entering its fifth decade of existence. Mass Appeal investor/Grammy-winning recording artist Nasir “Nas” Jones and Mass Appeal chief creative officer/veteran journalist Sacha Jenkins are celebrating the culture’s history with Hip Hop 50.
The Hip Hop 50 series will run on the Showtime network for three years. According to Variety, the original programming will feature digital shorts, unscripted shows, documentaries, and more. Different directors are taking the helm for specific content.
“There are so many more stories. I’m opening up with this, but Hip Hop 50 is a multi-tier initiative, created by Mass Appeal [in partnership with CBS Viacom], and we built this platform to ensure the anniversary of Hip Hop is celebrated in a real iconic way, and that everybody should be involved with this,” said Nas.
The rap legend added, “This is something that’s coming up that we don’t want to just pass by like it’s small. This is the biggest birthday in the world. You’re going to see the stories from every element of Hip Hop, whether it’s the street stories, whether it’s the MCing. Whatever it is, we want to celebrate and push this birthday party to the max.”
Hip Hop 50 is set to launch later this year and run through 2023. While there is debate about the exact date Hip Hop started, Hip Hop 50 is pinpointing 1973 as the initial year the global cultural phenomenon was born in The Bronx, New York.
“’73 marks the party that [DJ Kool Herc] threw for his sister in the basement of a building in the Bronx. ‘77 definitely put a battery in some people’s backs who didn’t have the equipment,” stated Sacha Jenkins. “Still, a little before people were out in the parks, proto-Hip Hop was happening as early as ‘73, and that’s what is going to commemorate this 50th anniversary in 2023.”
Previously, Sacha Jenkins was the creator behind the Fresh Dressed documentary which included Nasir Jones serving as a producer. The duo’s Mass Appeal also produced Netflix’s Rapture documentary series which covered acts like Nas, T.I., 2 Chainz, Rapsody, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, and Dave East.