A&E To Spin ‘Origins of Hip Hop’ Documentary Series

A&E will examine groundbreaking hip hop performers as part of a new documentary series set to debut on Memorial Day.

The eight-hour series, Origins of Hip Hop, unspools on May 30 and will focus on the lives and careers of such iconic rap artists as Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Busta Rhymes, Eve, Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Uncle Luke and Lil Jon, according to network officials.

Each hour of the series will delve into one of the genre’s biggest stars, tracing their path from where their stories began to their ultimate success, said the network.

Origins of Hip Hop expands our boundary-pushing nonfiction programming slate and celebrates the artists and sounds that have helped define a genre and culture,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive VP and head of programming at A&E, said in a statement. “Alongside our partners at Mass Appeal, we are excited to elevate the voices and stories of this incredible group of artists who helped create and continue to shape the genre today.”

Also: A&E Greenlights Ol' Dirty Bastard Documentary

Origins of Hip Hop is executive produced by Peter Bittenbender and Slane Hatch, along with Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Brad Abramson. ■ 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.