Peabody and Emmy Award winner ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ is a Canadian music documentary series that first premiered on HBO Canada in 2016. It narrates the historical evolution of hip-hop music over the years. The show features prominent celebrities from hip hop and sheds light on its journey via interviews and discussions. It was eventually picked up by Netflix for international distribution, where it debuted in December 2016.
Produced by Russell Peters, Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn, and Nelson George, ‘Hip Hop Evolution’, has seen four successful seasons so far. Here is all we know about its next installment, i.e ‘Hip Hop Evolution’ season 5.
Who’s the host of Hip Hop Evolution?
‘Hip Hop Evolution’ is hosted by Shad Kabango. Popularly recognized by his stage name Shad or Shad K., this Canadian alternative hip hop recording artist, music journalist, and broadcaster featured as the host for ‘Q’ on CBC Radio One. Across the episodes, he interviews some of the biggest figures in hip-hop while discussing the impact of music and its future.
Alongside him, we meet several renowned hip-hop artists, including DJ Kool, Run-DMC, Ice-T, 2 Live Crew, Notorious Big, Wu-Tang Clan, and The Sugarhill Gang, among others. Season 3 saw the likes of Big Suge, P.Diddy, and Biggie Smalls. In season 4, we met Missy Elliott, Lil’ Romeo, and Nelly, to name a few.
If the show plans to cover the entire hip hop world, we bet it has a long way to go. When season 5 happens, we expect several other new rappers to be featured in the cast. But of course, Shad Kabango will reprise his hosting duties in season 5 as well.
When is Hip Hop Evolution Season 5 Release Date?
‘Hip Hop Evolution’ season 4 premiered on January 17, 2020, on Netflix. It consisted of four episodes.
Netflix has not come up with an announcement for a new season yet. But we expect an update in the coming month(s). But since the concept of the show involves shedding light on the journey of rap over the years, there are so many artists left to cover. Hence, there is immense scope for the series to go on for multiple seasons.
Also, the reception of the show is positive among viewers. Therefore, a renewal is almost guaranteed. ‘Hip Hop Evolution’ had been releasing its seasons during the fall months each year — but season 4 made a much earlier comeback, debuting after just four months after season 3. If it keeps up to this schedule, we can expect ‘Hip Hop Evolution’ Season 5 to premiere sometime in October 2020.
What is Hip Hop Evolution about?
The origins of hip-hop can be traced to the US during the 1970s after which it progressed to become one of the most popular musical genres worldwide. ‘Hip Hop Evolution’ chronicles the journey of rap as it developed from the 70s to the 90s and then to the current era. We meet some of the iconic legends across decades, such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, who were the founders of hip-hop. We then get to see other influential bands like Run-DMC and Public Enemy. The series additionally sheds light on the differences in hip-hop between the East Coast and the West Coast.
Shad sits down with several of these legendary artists as he holds detailed discussions and interviews with the forefathers of DJing, rapping, and production — which eventually transformed into modern hip hop and rap. Viewers get a detailed know-how about hip-hop’s earliest years while meeting musicians, producers, DJs, and promoters. Some names featured on the series include DJ Kool Herc, Coke La Rock, Grandmaster Flash, and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Marley Marl, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Whodini, Warp 9, DJ Hollywood, Spoonie Gee, The Sugarhill Gang, and Russell Simmons.
‘Hip Hop Evolution’ begins by narrating one of the earliest hip-hop parties that took place at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in The Bronx. The event was graced by DJ Kool Herc, who acted as the DJ for his sister’s birthday party. Then, we hear the story of how the first rhythmic rappers laid the foundations of hip-hop, bootleg tapes became a cultural phenomenon, Sugarhill Gang released a Top 40 hit, and hip-hop entwined with art-punk in New York. Additional episodes narrate how Marley Marl and Rakim introduced a new sound and Ice-T and N.W.A brought West Coast to the limelight.
Again, we get a glimpse of how Dr. Dre topped the charts with “The Chronic”, Live Crew started highlighting the Miami bass sound, and the Geto Boys brought Houston on the map. The narration then shifts to the Bay Area and progresses to showcase Too Short’s take on pimp culture as well as MC Hammer’s journey to become rap’s first pop star, and Digital Underground introducing Tupac Shakur on a global platform.
Season 3 chronicles the rise of N.W.A., gangsta rap and Suge Knight, coupled with an increased rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast, leading to a huge face-off between Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. While Notorious B.I.G. guides Lil’ Kim, Biggie, Puff Daddy and Jay-Z compete for the top position. Alternative hip-hop gains popularity with Mos Def spits in New York, the Freestyle Fellowship chops it up in LA, and Eminem battles on the circuit. Meanwhile, Atlanta, Georgia witnesses a new musical entry whereas TLC and Kris Kross culminate in the originality of OutKast and Goodie Mob.
Season 4 picks up the same format and continues to document the fascinating evolution of hip hop in and around the United States — starting from Memphis and Atlanta. It also shows how newcomers added new sonic palettes to the existing rapping style and how mixtapes plus twerking came into the picture. Season 5 will embrace the same format and shall continue in its mission of expanding our knowledge of the popular genre of hip hop.
‘Hip Hop Evolution’ is an enlightening docu-series for music fans, and especially for those who wish to delve deep into its history. It showcases some of the legends without whom the current form of hip-hop would not exist. Moreover, the show does a marvelous job in documenting how an underground music genre became so popular in the mainstream — so much that it still continues to influence modern culture.