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Hip Hop and Activism February 2017

This resource guide provides resources on Hip Hop and Activism to assist students in learning more about the topics and supports the events through out the month.


2nd floor media/ ML3531 .H57 2006

Release date: 2006

Filmmaker and hip hop fan Byron Hurt, this PBS documentary takes on the issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip hop culture.

2nd floor media/ ML3918.R37 S633 2009

Release date: 2008

Directed by Jackie Reem Salloum, this documemntary traces the history and development of Palestinian hip hop, in the Palestinian territories from the time DAM pioneered the art form in the late 1990s.

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Release date: 2000

A documentary about freestyling--the improvised, on-the-spot rhymes that demonstrate the skills of hip-hop MCs.

Available on Youtube

Release date: 2001

In the early '70s, the South Bronx gave birth to several distinct but related phenomena which would in time be heard around the world. This documentary takes a looks at the pioneers of Bronx hip-hop, featuring interviews Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-One, and Fab Five Freddy as well as current rap and hip-hop artists who acknowledge the importance of these musical pioneers such as Redman, Mos Def, and Jurassic Five.

Rap: Looking for the Perfect Beat -- Available on Youtube

Release date: 1995

Featuring rap master Melle Mel, this documentary attempts to describes the history of rap and hip-hop from its roots in earlier oral and musical traditions to its full flowering in the mid-1990s. There is commentary by hip hop legends including Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa (rap’s early innovators), music critic Nelson George (author of Hiphopamerica); jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron; actor and rapper Ice Cube; frapper Snoop Doggy Dogg; members of Public Enemy, Arrested Development, and the jazz/hip-hop fusion group UFO; and others speak out about the urban African-American experience, civil rights, social responsibility, and other pressing topics. Clips from music videos provide a visual perspective on the genre. Some images and lyrics may be objectionable.

Africa Underground: Democracy in Dakar -- Request via Document Delivery

Release date: 2009

This documentary spotlights hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal featuring rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal. It also examines hip-hop's role on the political process.

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Release date: 1984

This drama featuring New York City hip hop culture of the early 1980s including breakdancing, DJing and graffiti.

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Release date: 2006

This documentary takes an intimate look at hip hop artists in Kenya.

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Release date: 1982

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Release date: 1997

Over 80 significant artists in rap and hip hop music are interviewed in this documentary by filmmaker Peter Spirer. This film explores the history of hip hop culture, how rap evolved to become a major cultural voice, and what the artists have to say about the music's often controversial images and reputation. Interviewees include Kurtis Blow, KRS-One, Chuck D, Ice-T, Dr. Dre, MC Eiht, Wu-Tang Clan, The Fugees, and Sean "Puffy" Combs.

Available on Youtube

Release date: 1983

Originally aired on PBS, this documentary focus on graffiti writers. 


Jay Z the War on Drugs -- Available on YouTube

Release date: 2016

This is a short film that Jay Z narrates, featuring the art by Molly Crabapple. This film describes part of the history about the war on drugs.