The streaming service Netflix is introducing a new audience to hip hop through a wide variety of films and programmes.
Rap documentaries such as Hip-Hop Evolution, which gives insights into the growing rap movement in the 1990s, looking at the most influential rappers, and Jeen-yuhs, which documents the rise of Kanye West, have proven to be extremely popular.
The streaming service also considers hip hop from the perspective of true crime dramas to examine the untimely deaths of influential rappers. ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?, examines the murder of the Run-DMC DJ and Unsolved is a true crime drama about the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
Hip hop crossovers
The fact is that hip hop has always inspired a range of crossovers into other areas of entertainment. Just think of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, a show featuring the writer and TV personality Martha Stewart and rapper Snoop Dogg. Given the versatility of rap it is no surprise to see hip hop themed slots such as Hip Hop Panda in the iGaming industry as the music genre is the perfect music for online gambling.
Ever since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the video game developed by Rockstar Games, exploded onto the scene, rap and hip hop has featured in a wide range of entertainment.
And in a sign that hip hop is now fully integrated in the mainstream, the 2022 Super Bowl half-time show featured performances by hip hop legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.
The streaming service is also offering hip hop crossovers with the competition reality show Rhythm + Flow, which features budding rappers from across the US competing to persuade the judges Tip “T.I.” Harris, Cardi B, and Chance the Rapper that they have what it takes to make it in the rap game.
In 2022, Netflix released Rhythm + Flow France with rappers from Marseille, Paris, and Brussels trying to impress the judges as French rappers Niska and SCH, along with Belgian rapper Shay.
Hip hop combined with other genres
Previously, hip hop films had been limited to biopic-style films such as 8 Mile starring Eminem, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Straight Outta Compton, the biographical film about the 80s rap group N.W.A.
But the streaming giant has provided a range of hip hop films which crossover into other genres, such as the Netflix original film Beats starring Khalil Everage as a nascent rapper who experiences significant events, the After Party, a rap comedy starring Kyle Harvey, Harrison Holzer and Teyana Taylor and the French rom-com Christmas Flow, which tells the tale of a romance between a journalist and a famous rapper.
With its wide variety of hip hop films, documentaries, and competition reality shows, Netflix is helping to bring hip hop and rap to a wider audience. As the music genre continues to move into the mainstream, we are likely to see a further shift into other areas of the entertainment industry because of the popularity of the music genre.