“Rodney King was the confirmation of everything we have been rapping about since the early 70s,” KRS-One explains in Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots, one of two VH1 Rock Doc features that will debut next week at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival. Narrated by Snoop Dogg and featuring new interviews with Nas, Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton and more, as well as rare archival footage of the likes of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, the film takes a look back at the riots that went down in South Central Los Angeles back in 1992 in the wake of the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating Rodney King. The documentary will examine the relationship between the violence manifested on the streets and the rage expressed in hip-hop music, and will premiere on Wednesday, March 14th at 10 p.m. CT.
For those of you who won’t be down in Austin next week, you’ll be able to catch Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots on VH1 on May 1, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
RELATED: VH1 Rock Docs To Premiere Two New Films At SXSW [VH1 Blog]
Where were you when you first discovered email? We sincerely hope that the first time you learned of the existence of this newfangled thing called “electronic mail” while watching YO! MTV Raps back in 1994. While scouring the archives for our celebration of MTV’s 30th Anniversary, we stumbled upon this clip of YO! host Fab 5 Freddy waxing poetic on the virtues of modems, the information superhighway, and “computer flavor.” Not only does he explain what email is and how to use it, but he throws props to some of the hip hop world’s early adopters of this then-futuristic technology (including A Tribe Called Quest, The Native Tongue Crew, and KRS-One). And if all else fails, we have your next catchphrase for you to impress your friends with: “I’m outta here, like computers from the ’60s.”
You can catch highlights from the early days of MTV during this, the 30th anniversary of the channel’s launch, all weekend long on VH1 Classic.
Hip-hop can’t buy a break right now. Thanks to Imus, Al, Oprah, Cam’ron, Tony Yayo and others, rappers have been cast as foul-mouthed philanderers whose only cares are booty, bling, blunts and beef; order of preference being debatable.
So at a time when hip-hop could use a link to its Golden Age, it’s only fitting that KRS-One should grab the mic again. Watch the freestyle above and you’ll see an old-school teacher who doesn’t need to scream about how bad he is. Rather, you’ll see a master lyricist whose flow is only topped by the pure enjoyment he gets from practicing his craft. I mean, an MC that actually smiles while spitting rhymes? It’s sad that that’s a groundbreaking gesture in today’s rap game.
Listen to the title track of KRS’ upcoming album Hip-Hop Lives. Then weigh in: Do new-school MC’s need to re-evaluate where they’re at? Or is doin’ it dirty what rap is all about?