VH1 teamed up with acclaimed filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman and famed author, award-winning entrepreneur, advertising executive, and record executive Steve Stoute for a 4-part documentary series based on Stoute’s best-selling book, “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy.”
VH1’s “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. Stoute notes, “Since its birth, hip-hop has been a reflection of black America, but never before have we seen it cast as such a far-reaching agent of political change. This film paints an entirely new picture of the impact of hip-hop culture over the last 30 years.”
Episode One: Word is Born
1970s - 1986: From Blaxploitation films through groundbreaking television like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons;” racial strife in New York City and the birth of hip-hop; the rise of Def Jam and Run DMC breaking thru on MTV; the 80s success of Eddie Murphy and the Cosby Show.
Episode Two: Fight the Power
1987 - 1992: From the dawn of political and gangsta rap through the debut of hip-hop movies to the election of Bill Clinton; Arsenio Hall; the Fresh Prince; hip-hop’s influence on fashion and Madison Ave; the Beastie Boys; The Source magazine; Yo! MTV Raps; MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice; the LA riots and racial strife in America.
Episode Three: Gimmie the Loot
1993 - 1999: The rise of Snoop and Dr. Dre, hip-hop hits the suburbs; Tommy Hilfiger turns hip-hop fashion into millions; Biggie and Puffy, Jay and Nas, Ghetto Fabulous and Bling; the influence of music videos; Vibe magazine; the rise of FUBU and Jacob the Jeweler; Will Smith saving the world in Independence Day and Time Magazine proclaiming America as a “hip-hop nation.”
Episode Four: All Around the World
2000 - present: From Eminem to hip-hop empires; Sean John and Rocawear; Vitamin Water and Beats by Dre; hip-hop slang pervades the culture; Ice Cube, Ice T and Queen Latifah become lovable TV and film stars; the dawn of a new political movement in hip-hop; Vote or Die; Hurricane Katrina and the election of the first African American president.