*UPDATE [10/25/11]: A video of the full episode of Smithsonian’s “Hip-Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes” can now be viewed at the link posted at the end of this article*
As part of their “Inside the Music” series during the month of October, the Smithsonian Channel presents their latest feature— Hip-Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes— this Friday (October 21st) at 8pm. View a Sneak Peak of the show as well as Director Joshua Atesh Litle’s remarks on “Women in Hip-Hop” below.
Hip-hop began in 1970s inner-city South Bronx but proved to be universal as it spread across the world and spoke to those with political, societal and personal hardships. This reinvention of music proved itself as a way for these individuals and communities to get their message heard as they rapped about their own culture’s struggles.
As poets use verse to express themselves, hip-hop is a lyrical and rhythmic way to use music as a reflection of their culture and the conditions that surround them. It has served as more than entertainment; for those who don’t have a voice, rap has become a universal language.
This special by the Smithsonian Channel spans globally, by exploring a number of different countries and stories, to discover why hip-hop acts as a way for individuals to revolt against and be elevated from their burdens: Germany’s Berlin Wall, Senegal’s female circumcision, rampant conflict in the Middle East. We meet hip-hop artists from the Bronx who formed the art; but also from France, Senegal, Germany, Palestine & Jerusalem, among others.
“What it really consists of, or what it was really intended to be, you’ll see that hip-hop is a saving grace for a lot of people around the world.” –Grandmaster Caz, from The Cold Crush Brothers