Produced by BBC Studios for PBS and BBC Music, FIGHT THE POWER: HOW HIP HOP CHANGED THE WORLD tells the story of hip hop as an organic expression of experience that was unapologetic, fierce and empowering as it spoke truth to power and informed a nation through a different lens.
Developed by Chuck D and his producing partner, Lorrie Boula, the film features firsthand accounts from some of rap’s most integral players. FIGHT THE POWER recounts the origins of this bold and revolutionary art form through the voices of those who were there at the beginning, creating an anthology of how hip hop became a cultural phenomenon against the backdrop of American history. Weaving together interconnected moments via intimate interviews and archival footage, the docuseries will explore how hip hop quickly created a provocative narrative of America.
“The hip hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to,” said Chuck D. “Long before any conglomerate realized it was time to wake up, hip hop had been speaking out and telling truths. Working with PBS and BBC is an opportunity to deliver these messages through new ways and help explain hip hop’s place in history and hopefully inspire us all to take it further.”
The series features insightful interviews with hip hop luminaries including, Chuck D, Grandmaster Caz, Ice-T, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Roxanne Shanté, Run DMC, John Forté, will.i.am, MC Lyte, B-Real (Cypress Hill), Melle Mel, Fat Joe, Lupe Fiasco and more.
GRAMMY winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chuck D was at the vanguard of how this art form became a platform for political expression and a vessel toward social justice. As co-founder of Public Enemy, his music dispatched lessons in Black history and consciousness while striving to dismantle racial constructs. “Fight the Power,” Public Enemy’s groundbreaking single released in 1989, became an anthem that called for unity against oppression and continues to resonate to this day. It is often called the most important hip hop song of all time, is in the Library of Congress and was named the #2 Greatest Song of All Time in 2021 by Rolling Stone.
EPISODE ONE: THE FOUNDATION