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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
9/29/2004 8:53:08 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Various Artists.

A massive five-hour documentary about the history of hip hop 'AND You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop" is ready to drop on VH1 next week.

The in-depth retrospective unfolds over five consecutive nights starting Oct. 4 and traces the growth of hip-hop culture from its roots on the poverty stricken streets of the South Bronx in the early 1970s into today's economic powerhouse.

At nearly $2 million to make - huge money for a cable documentary - "And You Don't Stop," is also sort of a scene setter for VH1's first annual "Hip Hop Honors" awards show, airing on Oct. 12.

"We've been trying to get this show off the ground for years," says producer Bill Adler, a hip hop historian who worked for rap impresario Russell Simmons' Rush Artist Management and Def Jam recordings from 1984 to 1990.

Simmons' is the project's executive producer.

"Most of the folk in hip hop are not very nostalgic, they're not very historically minded and I understand that. They're always going to look ahead, always," says Adler. "But we believe that the culture and history [of hip hop] are important."

Using original and archival interviews with nearly 70 artists ranging from Grandmaster Flash and Chuck D to 50 Cent and Missy Elliott, the series follows the rise of the music from an underground sensation to a major mainstream influence.

Adler says the timing of the series is arbitrary - it was produced now simply because VH1 decided to fund the project.

"The idea for this show was conceived in 1999 or 2000," says Adler.

"If we had gotten money right away we might be talking about a different anniversary, but by 1974, you had people like DJ Kool Herc, DJ Hollywood and Grandmaster Flash beginning to give their first parties," says Adler of why the series focuses on the 30th anniversary of the genre.

"Those of us who follow the culture recognize that was the formal beginning of what we call hip hop today," he says.

"And it also happens to be the 25th anniversary right now of the release of Rapper's Delight [the first hip hop record] and the 20th anniversary of the founding of Def Jam."

Simmon's Def Jam is among the few surviving rap record labels from the 1980s that helped usher hip hop into the national music scene.

Play by play, day by day


Birth of hip hop culture and its four pillars: rap, dee-jaying, break dancing and graffiti. Stories behind first hits including ""Rapper's Delight" (Sugarhill Gang), "The Message" (Grandmaster Flash) and "Rapture" (Blondie).


Hip hop takes over the music business and becomes a national phenomenon. The foundation artists emerge: Run-DMC, L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys. Russell Simmons gets first rap videos on MTV.


Gangsta rap rises from the ghettos of the West Coast. Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and N.W.A. champion the new form of rap, which chronicles lives of crime and drugs.


Rivalry breaks out between East and West coast record labels and guns start blazing. Tupac and Biggie Smalls are murdered. Rise of glamour rap with P. Diddy and Jay-Z.


Hip hop takes over the world of fashion and sports. The base of the music broadens to include musicians from outside L.A.-N.Y., like Outkast, female performers, like L'il Kim and Missy Elliott and hip hop's first white hero, Eminem.

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