The hip-hop music movement which started in the 1970s in Brooklyn among the African-American population living in dire conditions in the ghettos has now reached worldwide popularity and is a multi-billion dollar business. In celebrating hip-hop and singing along with our favorite numbers from the genre, we sometimes tend to forget the actual roots of this music. Hip-hop is a densely political expression of a class of people who were highly ignored by mainstream American media during the 1960s and 1970s. The racism inherent in American society, the unlawful arrests of African-Americans, and their prosecution regarding the same — all these issues were addressed in some of the most popular hip-hop and rap songs of all time.
Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo, one of the most well-known hip-hop producers, has devised a wonderful way in which he can get across stories which affected the black population during the heyday of hip-hop and rap music. In his series ‘Tales’, Gotti uses popular hip-hop songs to make small stories based on their lyrics. Each episode of the series is a completely different story based on the songs of famous artists like NWA, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and others. The first episode of ‘Tales’ is based on the iconic but controversial NWA number, ‘F*** Tha Police’. If you enjoyed watching this series and are looking for other shows that explore similar ideas and themes, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘Tales’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘Tales’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
6. The Breaks (2017)
VH1’s 2016 TV movie ‘The Breaks’ is the inspiration behind this series. The show came into existence because fans loved the movie and the way it explored hip-hop music’s growth. They demanded that the stories of the three leading characters of the film be continued in any form. Wood Harris, Mack Wilds, and Afton Williamson are the stars of the series, which also sees the presence of famous hip-hop musician Method Man among its cast members. The story of ‘The Breaks’ is set during the 1990s – a time when some of the most popular rap artists were performing at the peak of their careers. Despite huge public acclaim, the series shows how mainstream media always stayed away from covering hip-hop’s most famous artists. Season 1 consists of eight episodes and aired on VH1. The second season, which was scheduled to air on BET, got canceled after its announcement.
5. Unsolved (2018)
If you ask any hip-hop fan who are the five greatest rappers of all time, two names are sure to come up – Biggie and Tupac. These two musicians are extremely popular among fans of the genre. Their lives and relationship with each other were also equally well known. Biggie and Tupac started off as friends, but after Tupac was shot five times outside Biggie’s studio in New York, tension boiled up between them which led to the east coast-west coast hip-hop rivalry. Their untimely deaths and both murder cases remaining unsolved to this day have created a myth around the legacies of these rap superstars. ABC’s series ‘Unsolved’ focuses on the lives and eventual murders of Biggie and Tupac. Their characters are played by Wavyy Jonez and Marcc Rose respectively. The series mainly tackles the murders of the two rappers through the accounts of Detective Greg Kading (Josh Duhamel) and Detective Russell Poole (Jimmi Simpson). The show received praise for the performances by the actors.