Original Documentary Series HIP-HOP EVOLUTION Explores the Birth and Far-Reaching Influences of Hip-Hop, September 4 on HBO Canada

— August 17, 2016

– From Canadian filmmaker Darby Wheeler, HIP-HOP EVOLUTION travels to the earliest days of hip-hop in 70s New York –
– Documentary includes interviews with Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Ice T, Chuck D, MC Eiht, DJ Yella, and Run-D.M.C. –
– Interactive extension from Secret Location, Find Your Rap Origins, allows users to trace and create their own hip-hop story –
– A curated HIP-HOP EVOLUTION playlist can be streamed from the official Much Apple Music curator page –

“If ‘The Message’ gave birth to hip-hop as we know it, this doc is about the labour, the three trimesters, the broken condom and the drinks that got the party started.” – NOW Toronto “. . . HIP-HOP EVOLUTION speaks of hip-hop's multifaceted creation in unprecedented detail, and is necessary viewing not only for music historians, but for anyone who considers themself a student of the game.” – Exclaim.ca TORONTO (August 17, 2016) – Music fans interested in the birth of hip-hop can find the real story exclusively on HBO Canada, as the premium network today announced that the original documentary series, HIP-HOP EVOLUTION, premieres Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. ET. Commissioned by Bell Media, in partnership with Banger Films, the four-episode, one-hour series, which premiered at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival this past spring, explores the origins of the genre that dominates popular music culture today. Click here to watch the trailer for HIP-HOP EVOLUTION.  
Grandmaster Flash and Shad in HIP-HOP EVOLUTION
Grandmaster Flash and Shad in HIP-HOP EVOLUTION
HIP-HOP EVOLUTION travels back to 1970s Bronx and Harlem, unveiling how hip-hop evolved from its beginnings as a New York house-party experiment, to the global phenomenon it is today, and more importantly, how it created a voice for the disenfranchised. Acclaimed Canadian MC and media personality Shad Kabango guides viewers through the evolution of the genre, travelling through NYC’s boroughs to speak with hip-hop’s originators and biggest stars. The power-house documentary features interviews with the musical legends and pioneers that started it all. In the first episode, Shad meets hip-hop’s “Holy Trinity,” three Bronx-based DJs – Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash – who created hip-hop's aesthetic and sonic foundations. Motivated by the innovations of these DJs, MCs soon follow, who, inspired by the deep oral traditions of African-American culture, change the dynamic of hip-hop and create the modern template for rap music, resulting in the emergence of hip-hop's first supercrew – Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Subsequent episodes trace the explosion of groups following the genre’s first commercial hit, “Rapper’s Delight”, the Golden Age of hip-hop in the 80s, and the creation of the first hip-hop empire, Def Jam Records. The fourth and final episode explores the birth of the West Coast hip-hop scene and Gangsta Rap – a raw, biographical form of rap that continues to dominate the genre today. Interviews throughout the series include Grandmaster Caz, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Chuck D, Ice Cube, and Ice T. Online and interactive content is available to viewers at HipHopEvolution.com, which features the innovative Find Your Rap Origins. Developed by Emmy®-winning Canadian digital studio Secret Location, Find Your Rap Origins allows users to create and trace their own hip-hop evolution story. Other digital extensions of the series include the Hip-Hop Evolution: The Foundation playlist, curated by Much on Apple Music, and available exclusively at applemusic.com/much. HIP-HOP EVOLUTION is written by Rodrigo Bascuñán, and directed by Canadian documentary filmmaker Darby Wheeler (THE HOUR) with co-direction by Scot McFayden (RUSH: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE), and Sam Dunn (METAL EVOLUTION). Production Executive is Kathleen Meek. Robin Johnston is Director, Factual, Independent Production, Bell Media. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media.

About Banger Films
Banger Films is an award-winning film and television production company based in Toronto. In its first 10 years, Banger has produced smash-hit feature documentaries, TV series and live concerts, broadcast worldwide on networks such as The Movie Network, VH1, BBC 2, Globosat, NRK, Sky UK and many more. The Banger catalogue includes the essential heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2006) and its follow-up Global Metal (2008); SXSW Audience Award and Juno-winning Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009), Grammy-nominated and Tribeca Audience Award-winning Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010), the “doc opera” Super Duper Alice Cooper (2014), as well as the biggest-ever TV series on metal and hard rock, Metal Evolution (2011). In 2013, Banger launched a kids’ programming division, B Minors. Upcoming projects include documentaries about the Tragically Hip, ZZ Top, and Rick James.

About Secret Location
Secret Location is a multi Emmy® and Cannes Lion Award-winning content studio for emerging platforms. Secret Location combines cutting-edge technology with traditional storytelling to create digitally accelerated experiences for the web, mobile, tablet and new platforms like Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR). Just eight years old, the company has offices in Los Angeles and Toronto and works with a myriad of clients, which include NBC, Fox, IFC, The History Channel, Endemol, and PBS, as well as massive consumer brands like Samsung, GE and Red Bull. Secret Location also produces digitally driven dramatic series, comedy, journalism and sports, with a combination of IP partnerships and original properties. Follow Secret Location on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information about Secret Location, visit: http://thesecretlocation.com/

About Bell Media Independent Production
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, MOTIVE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, and MASTERCHEF CANADA. Upcoming original series on CTV include CARDINAL and THE DISAPPEARANCE. Among the original scripted series on Bell Media pay, specialty, and streaming platforms are the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, Space’s most-watched original series KILLJOYS, Bravo’s award-winning and most-watched original drama 19-2, award-winning dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, CraveTV’s first original series LETTERKENNY, Discovery’s upcoming drama FRONTIER, and Comedy’s new satirical news series THE BEAVERTON.  Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new scripted series in 4K.

About HBO Canada
HBO Canada brings Canadians HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, together with new and never-before-seen programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events, behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO’s extensive library – all in an uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is available in high definition on HBO Canada HD, and on HBO Canada OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service. Throughout Canada HBO Canada programming is accessible on TMN GO, as well as on demand and online where available by service provider. For more information, please visit www.hbocanada.com. HBO Canada is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.


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Scott Campbell

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