History of Rap Documentaries - Roots of Rap

History of Rap Documentaries

Read on for a list of the most noteworthy music documentaries about the history of rap and hip-hop that capture  the most iconic moments in the evolution of music and illustrates its significant influence on it's listeners.

Style Wars (1983)

Style Wars is a documentary that chronicled New York City’s youthful street culture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s. The film has an emphasis on graffiti, and breakdancing although bboying and rapping are covered to a lesser extent

Beat This: A Hip Hop History (1984)

Beat This: A Hip-Hop History is a BBC documentary film about hip-hop culture, directed by Dick Fontaine and narrated by Imhotep Gary Byrd. The film takes us up through roots of hip hop culture starting in the late 1970s in the South Bronx and features DJ Kool Herc, Planet Rock, Kurtis Blow, Jazzy Jay, Afrika Bambaataa, Malcolm McClaren and many more. Great vintage footage of Manhattan, the Bronx, beatboxing, graffiti and breakdancing.

Scratch (2001)

Scratch is a 2001 documentary film on DJing, directed and edited by Doug Pray. The film follows DJing from the birth of hip-hop when pioneering DJs began extending breaks on records, to the invention of scratching and beat juggling, to the more recent explosion turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now, the world’s best scratchers, beat-diggers, party-rockers, and producers wax poetic on beats, breaks, battles, and the infinite possibilities of vinyl. 

Founding Fathers: The Untold Story of Hip-Hop (2012)

Founding Fathers: The Untold Story of Hip Hop is a full-length documentary film about the history of hip-hop narrated by Chuck D of Public Enemy.
You've probably heard of Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore. Were these the inventors of rap? Not really. This documentary tells the history of the culture that is not often exposed, it tells the story about the real founding fathers like Grandmaster Flowers, Nu Sounds, King Charles, Master D, Charisma Funk, etc.

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