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Music industry executive turned marketing guru Steve Stoute has successfully taken his first book to television. A four part documentary series entitled The Tanning Of America highlighting the influence of Hip-Hop premiered last night [February 24] on VH1.

While there have been previous documentaries detailing the birth and rise of Hip-Hop, this is the first true look of how it impacted the way our country walked, talked, dressed and presented people of color to the masses.

Pioneers and modern luminaries including Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, Reverend Run, Bill AdlerRalph McDanielsFab 5 Freddy, Mona Scott, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Nas and Mariah Carey all gave their insight on the beginning stages of Hip-Hop.

Included in the hour long introductory piece were several interesting anecdotal recounts of pivotal moments in Rap history including  the making of RUN-DMC‘s “Walk This Way” and how the first all Rap tour “Fresh Fest” came to be.

You can view the first installment “Part One: Word Is Born” below. Let us know what you think thus far in the comments section.


Photo: VH1