Uprising: Hip-Hop & The L.A. Riots premieres on VH1 tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and is the latest entry in VH1’s award-winning Rock Docs series. The documentary film, narrated by Snoop Dogg, takes a look back at the riots that occurred in the wake of the Rodney King verdict exactly twenty years ago this week, and the role that hip-hop played in both predicting and ultimately chronicling the tension between the residents of South Central and the police.
The film premiered in Los Angeles last week, and our colleagues over at VH1 News got some 1:1 time with Arsenio Hall before the film began. He detailed for us a story of how Ice Cube passed along a cassette tape to him with an early version of “F*** The Police” on it, which led Arsenio to (ultimately unsuccessfully) lobby his corporate bosses to book N.W.A. on his eponymous talk show. It’s a fascinating anecdote, and one that reflects a time that’s increasingly hard to remember, a time when hip-hop hadn’t yet fully made its way into mainstream American culture.
We also put together a Spotify playlist for you below, Music from Uprising: Hip-Hop & The L.A. Riots, which contains most of the music that you’ll hear in the documentary film tonight, songs like N.W.A.’s aforementioned “F*** Tha Police,” Ice Cube’s “We Had To Tear This Mothaf***a Up” and Dr. Dre’s “The Day The N***** Took Over,” among others.
Who doesn’t love flashbacks, particularly to hip hop’s golden era of the late 80s and early 90s? Television and music in that era were so badass, and the fashion? Well, that had it’s ups and down. However, there’s no arguing that this era was when hip hop expanded from a genre to a global culture, and throughout it all, Yo! MTV Raps was at the forefront of the movement documenting classic moments of hip hop culture.
“GANGSTA SH*T!” That was Snoop Dogg‘s reaction to performing alongside Tupac Shakur at Coachella last night. No, Snoop wasn’t just trippin’ on some super dope kush (although we’re pretty sure he was), the legendary 2Pac was brought back to life —on Greek Easter, no less!— and appeared in holographic form during Dr. Dre‘s closing set at Coachella last night.
We had heard earlier in the week that the late Nate Dogg was set to appear alongside Dre, Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Eminem during Sunday night’s headlining set on the Coachella Stage, but then rumors started flying around over the weekend that 2Pac would be the one to be reanimated using hologram technology. There were rumors that the CGI Pac would team up with Dre for “California Love”, but 2Pac performed “Hail Mary” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Snoop Dogg instead. We’ve got video of the moment for you above, but be warned that the language is a little salty and therefore NSFW.