Have you seen the first four episodes of Hip Hop Uncovered? The FX docuseries tells the stories of “the person behind the person” so to speak — profiling the often-violent, highly charged early days of hip-hop through the prism of five power players.
As People’s Watch Party co-host Jasmin Leigh explains in the video above:
Eugene “Big U” Henley, who operates out of LA and Wiz Khalifa introduces as “the Godfather” of the LA rap scene.
“Aunt Deb” Antney, who put on French Montana, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, and her son Waka Flocka Flame.
James “Bimmy” Antney, part of the famous Supreme Team street gang and managed LL Cool J and Run DMC.
“Haitian Jack” Agnant, a man who Tupac rapped about on the Makaveli album and who helped bring Wyclef to international fame.
And finally…Christian “Trick Trick” Mathis, who gets called the “mayor of Detroit” and is famous for creating the Detroit “No Fly Zone” where other rappers need to pay respect before being welcomed to the city.
It’s a hell of a lineup, as you can see. To talk about the show and breakdown its major characters, People’s Watch Party tapped Detroit icon Royce Da 5’9″ — famed MC, 2021 Grammy nominee, and rap cultural ambassador. Seriously, if you want to speak on hip-hop culture, there’s no better guest than Nickel.
After providing context and personal background for each subject in the FX docuseries, Kweli, Leigh, and Royce chat about hip-hop culture’s halcyon days, the various ways rap music reflects street culture, and how institutional racism informs the genre. As Royce puts it, hip-hop is “Always a reflection of the environment. It always has been.”