VH1’s Emmy Award-winning “Rock Docs” franchise returns with a brand new slate of original feature-length documentaries examining the intersection of music and culture. The new documentaries will premiere on VH1 in early 2014 and continue throughout the year.
Upcoming VH1 Rock Docs include “Finding The Funk,” which gives an insightful look into the history and evolution of funk music; “Downloaded,” centered on Napster and the industry-changing advent of music file-sharing; and “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop,” a four-part documentary series that examines how hip hop has transformed American culture. Other Rock Docs on tap will explore the electronic dance music (EDM) craze and soul singer Sharon Jones’ inspirational journey following a life-changing cancer diagnosis.
“Finding the Funk,” premieres on Tuesday, February 4th at 10PM* a unique geographical history of the booty-shaking genre. Narrated by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots, the film showcases how funk music’s infectious groove paved the way for groundbreaking genres such as hip-hop and house music. The funk explosion is traced from Dayton, Ohio to Detroit via interviews with pioneers like Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Nona Hendryx, Nile Rodgers, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, and Steve Arrington and their descendants Mike D, D’Angelo, Sheila E and Shock G. The documentary, directed by filmmaker and journalist Nelson George and produced by record producer Arthur Baker, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013. It also screened at Hot Docs, Urban World, the Afro-Punk Festival and the Pan African Film Festival.
“The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop,” premieres Monday, February 24 through Thursday, February 27, airing at 11PM each night. The four-part, four-hour documentary series, based on a best-selling book by author, entrepreneur, advertising executive and record executive Steve Stoute, is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. The series provides a visual history of the hip-hopification of America – what Stoute calls “tanning” — from “The Jeffersons” to the Fresh Prince; from “Do the Right Thing” to “8 Mile”; from the streets of Compton to Madison Ave; from block parties to the Hamptons; and from rappers to entrepreneurs to icons. It unfolds in 4 one-hour episodes that together explore history’s pivotal tanning moments from the 1970s to present day, and show how hip-hop is deeply woven into the American cultural fabric. The series is produced by filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman of Rakontur.
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